If you steal something in North Carolina and get caught, you will be charged with larceny. Depending on a range of factors, you could be charged with felony larceny or misdemeanor larceny. Felony charges are far more serious than misdemeanor charges, so it's important to be clear on which type of larceny charges you're facing.
Both types of crimes are serious, and even a misdemeanor conviction can have harsh consequences. Depending on your previous record and other factors, a conviction for misdemeanor felony can still get you in plenty of hot water. If you are arrested and charged with larceny, you need to talk with a Charlotte larceny attorney right away.
North Carolina Misdemeanor Larceny Charges
The value of the property stolen is often the determining factor between felony and misdemeanor larceny charges. If the value of the property stolen was less than $1,000, the larceny charge will be a Class 1 misdemeanor under N.C. Gen. Statute § 14-72(a) as long as there are no other mitigating factors. If the value of the stolen property is questionable, the jury will determine the value of the property in their verdict.
Here are the criteria for a misdemeanor larceny charge:
- Taking the personal property of another
- Taking property to another location
- The property is taken without consent
- The intent is to permanently deprive the owner of possession
- Knowing the property taken belonged to someone else
Punishment for Misdemeanor Larceny in North Carolina
While misdemeanor larceny is most often classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor, there are other factors that could escalate the level of punishment. A Class 1 misdemeanor in North Carolina typically carries a punishment of 1 to 45 days of community service.
If you have one to four previous convictions, the punishment is 1 to 45 days of community service or incarceration or intermediate punishment (a punishment that falls between incarceration and probation). With five or more previous convictions, the punishment is the same as above but can be for 1 to 120 days.
While misdemeanors result in less severe punishments than felonies, like felonies, they stay on your criminal record for life and that record is public. A misdemeanor may not seem like such a big deal to you, but to potential employers, lenders and landlords, that conviction could be a deciding factor against you. Anyone you authorize to do a background check could see your conviction and it could have a negative impact on many aspects of your life for years to come.
Even if you aren't convicted, your arrest for misdemeanor larceny will be on your public record for up to seven years and could lead to many of the same issues as a conviction. If you're convicted of misdemeanor larceny and over 18, you are eligible for expungement five years after your conviction. If under 18, you are eligible after two years.
An experienced defense attorney can help you minimize the impact of a misdemeanor larceny conviction and may be able to have the case dismissed or charges reduced. Call The Law Offices of Jason H. Reece in Charlotte at 704-714-8888 or fill out this contact form for a free consultation.