In Charlotte, police and prosecutors take an especially aggressive approach to theft crimes because they tend to have a major impact on the perception of safety. Not surprisingly, larceny, being one of the most common theft offenses, is also one of the most charged crimes in the area. Depending on the value of the property you allegedly stole, larceny can be a felony or a misdemeanor.
If you’ve been charged with larceny, it is imperative that you have an experienced Charlotte theft crimes lawyer by your side at every step of the way. At the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, our experienced team of criminal defense lawyers has a long history of aggressively defending the rights and freedoms of clients charged with larceny. We’re familiar with the best larceny defenses, when to use them, and how to present a compelling defense designed to secure the best result possible.What is Larceny in North Carolina?
Simply put, larceny is defined as taking someone’s property without their permission. In this way, larceny differs from other theft charges, such as robbery or burglary, as larceny charges do not involve breaking or entering into a building (burglary) or the removal of another’s property in their presence by using threats or force (robbery).
For example, the following are situations where prosecutors may pursue larceny charges:
- A college student takes another student's tablet out of their bag when they are not looking.
- A person walks into a homeowner’s garage and steals tools.
- A person checks for unlocked cars in a parking lot, taking valuables from any unlocked vehicles.
The line between larceny and robbery can be blurry at times, and prosecutors will almost always charge both offenses if they think there is even a chance the jury would find the defendant guilty of robbery.How Serious is Larceny?
There are two categories of larceny: misdemeanor larceny and felony larceny. Under statute §14-72, the difference between the two charges has to do with the value of the items that are alleged to have been taken. If the value of goods is greater than $1,000, then the charge is a Class H felony, and prison time becomes much more likely. If the goods are valued at under $1,000, the punishment is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries significantly less punishment.
Larceny charges, like all theft charges, carry a significant punishment. While a misdemeanor larceny may not put you in jail, it will greatly impact your ability to attend school or seek employment. All theft crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude, which means they involve an element of dishonesty. Thus, a larceny conviction is a major red flag when an employer runs a background check.Defenses to Larceny
Aside from challenging the value of the allegedly stolen property, you may also be able to successfully defend against a larceny charge by arguing that you lacked the intent to permanently deprive the owner of their property. However, this defense only applies in certain circumstances; for example, if you were arrested for shoplifting after being caught leaving a store with merchandise, this may not be an option. That said, if security stopped you before leaving the store, it might be a viable defense.
There are other ways to challenge larceny cases, and having a Charlotte criminal defense attorney to represent you is imperative.Have You Been Arrested for Larceny in North Carolina?
The Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, focuses on providing our clients with exceptional legal counsel to assist them during this stressful and complex process. Our firm has represented countless clients in theft crimes, including felony and misdemeanor larceny offenses. We will protect your rights and work to find the best defense to ensure that your recent arrest has as little impact on your future as possible. We serve clients in Gaston, Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Iredell and Union Counties. To learn more and to schedule a free consultation with a Charlotte criminal defense lawyer today, call 704-405-2850 or connect with us through our secure online contact form.