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What to Know About Larceny in North Carolina

By Joel Hancock

Taking someone else’s property without their permission is generally punishable under the law. North Carolina takes these types of crimes seriously. The punishment for shoplifting, also known as larceny, is dependent upon the value of the goods that were stolen. 

Larceny Crimes Based on Value of Goods

If the value of the items that were stolen is less than $1,000, it is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. However, if the stolen goods have a value of at least $1,000, it is considered a Class H felony and charges will be given accordingly. In order for an individual to be charged with either Class of larceny, he or she must have left the premises with possession of the stolen goods. 

While North Carolina separates larceny crimes based on the value of the goods, there are certain types of larceny that automatically constitute felony charges. Such types of larceny include:

  • Theft of an explosive device, firearm, or state archive;
  • Crimes involving breaking and entering; and
  • Theft in which the offender steals something from an individual’s person (an item directly from that person).

It is also illegal to hide items for the purpose of stealing them. However, concealment of merchandise is a separate crime and constitutes a misdemeanor. 

Penalties for Larceny

If someone is found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor larceny, he or she will receive between one and 45 days in jail. The actual length is based upon other factors such as the individual’s criminal history as well as the facts and circumstances of the specific case. As for a felony larceny conviction, the penalty is anywhere from four to eight months in prison, also depending on the particular facts and circumstances of the case. 

Those convicted of concealing merchandise (without leaving the premises) will face penalties based upon whether this is a first offense.

For a first offense (Class 3 misdemeanor) they will receive 24 hours of community service. For a second offense (Class 2 misdemeanor) they will receive 72 hours of community service and 72 hours in jail and/or probation. For a third offense (Class 1 misdemeanor) they will receive at least 11 days in jail. 

It’s important to note that aside from these criminal penalties, those convicted of larceny charges will also be subject to civil penalties, such as being required to reimburse the store owner for the value of the goods and/or attorney fees. In some cases, they may also be subject to punitive damages. 

Joel Hancock at Hancock Law Firm, PLLC Helps Those in North Carolina Who Have Been Charged with Larceny 

If you have been charged with larceny or concealing merchandise, you have the right to defend yourself and prove your innocence. Your best bet of doing so successfully is with the help of a knowledgeable and experienced North Carolina criminal defense attorney who understands what you are up against and will fight on your behalf. 

At Hancock Law Firm, PLLC, we fully understand what is at stake and will do everything that we can to help you to fight this order. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!

About the Author
Joel Hancock is a native of Carteret County, NC. He devotes 100% of his practice to defending those accused of traffic infractions, DWI, misdemeanors, and felonies in Carteret County, NC.