A Good Larceny Defense Means Knowing Your Subject

Is it enough for a larceny defense attorney to know the difference between petty larceny and felony larceny? Of course, it is! How about the laws unique to underage offenders? You bet. These and a few other critical bits of knowledge are typically the least you could expect. 

Knowing the larceny laws in North Carolina is essential to be a successful larceny defense lawyer. But the outstanding ones know just about everything there is to know about their subject. 

If you are charged with larceny in Charlotte or across North Carolina, there are a few things you may want to know about the subject! If you forget one or two, no worries. We know them like the back of our hand, and we use that knowledge to mount a winning larceny defense.

Larceny Defense 101

What is larceny?

The Merriam-Webster dictionary puts it this way: Larceny is the unlawful taking of personal property with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it permanently. That sounds about right and sums up North Carolina's view on the matter too. 

What are typical examples of larceny?

Examples of larceny include stealing cars, parts of vehicles, bicycles, hammocks, and, well, about anything else you can steal. Commonly known types of larceny include pocket-picking and shoplifting. 

What is the most common type of larceny?

You probably guessed already. The most common type of theft is shoplifting. Shoplifting larceny in 2021 accounted for $94.5 billion in losses, about 1.4% of the total retail revenue for that year. But only about five to ten percent of shoplifters get caught!

What about other kinds of theft besides shoplifting?

Glad you asked. According to the FBI, the average value of the property taken during a larceny crime is $1,153 per offense (to be exact!). Interestingly, when the FBI calculates the losses nationally by applying the average value of the estimated number of larcenies, the result is estimated at $6.0 billion. 

What is larceny vs. grand larceny?

In most of the U.S., the difference between petty larceny and grand larceny is the value of the property stolen. Dollar amounts vary from state to state, but petty larceny is a misdemeanor, while grand larceny is, you guessed it—a felony. The dollar amounts vary from state to state, but grand larceny is usually prosecuted as a felony, whereas petty larceny is typically a misdemeanor. 

Larceny Defense in North Carolina

What are the penalties for felony larceny in North Carolina?

Felony larceny involves the theft of property valued at more than $1,000. The crime is a Class H Felony, and the severity of the consequences depends on the circumstances of the case. The maximum punishment for felony larceny in North Carolina is an active sentence of 39 months. 

What are the penalties for petty larceny in North Carolina?

Petty larceny is a Class 1 Misdemeanor in North Carolina and carries a maximum penalty of 120 days in jail and $1,000. Four months in prison doesn't sound petty to us, so investing in the best larceny defense is a good idea. 

Unless you steal a dog!

Stealing a dog in North Carolina is a Class I felony larceny, regardless of its value. Steal your neighbor's Chihuahua and you could get the same sentence dished out to credit card fraudsters and domestic violence offenders—24 long months.

Because North Carolina larceny laws can be complicated, your best larceny defense in Charlotte begins with an experienced attorney. If you want a larceny lawyer who knows all there is to know about larceny (and how to use it to their clients' benefit), you want an attorney from the Jason H. Reece Law Firm. Fill out this quick form (we promise we won't steal your information!) or give us a call at 704-714-8888.