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Defending Against Shoplifting Crimes in Johnston County

 Posted on July 28, 2022 in Criminal Defense

Wake County shoplifting defense lawyerUnder North Carolina law, any theft charge, no matter the value, is considered “larceny.” Charges of larceny, which fall under the criminal offense umbrella of property crimes, can range from misdemeanors to felonies. Convictions can result in stiff penalties such as community service, jail time, and hefty fines. One of the most troubling consequences of a conviction, however, is the subsequent criminal record, which can tarnish reputations and make securing employment difficult. 

Fortunately, there could be mitigating circumstances in your larceny case that reduce your chances of conviction. A criminal defense attorney can explain charges and possible penalties and help build an effective defense.

Two Types of Misdemeanor Larceny

Under the law of North Carolina, shoplifting or stealing merchandise from a retail store is divided into the following two categories. 

Misdemeanor concealment – Shoplifting without leaving the store is considered concealment of merchandise. Switching or altering price tags to lower the price of the merchandise when paying at the register is a form of concealment of merchandise. Another example includes hiding merchandise in a purse, backpack, shopping bag, or underneath their clothing. Although individuals charged with this type of shoplifting did not necessarily leave the store with stolen merchandise, the intent to steal was established. If convicted of concealment of merchandise as a first offense, it is a Class 3 Misdemeanor. Penalties can range from 24 hours of community service to a 20-day jail sentence. A second offense is a Class 2 Misdemeanor, and penalties can range from 72 hours of community service to a 60-day jail sentence in addition to fines.    

Misdemeanor larceny – Shoplifting items valued at $1000 or less is considered larceny of goods. If charged, the alleged shoplifter could face one day to 45 days in jail for this Class 1 misdemeanor. The defendant could also be fined.

What is Felony Larceny?

Any stolen property valued at more than $1000 is a Class H felony. Convictions can result in significant fines and a maximum 24-month prison sentence. Charges of Class H felony are mandatory if the alleged committed a robbery or a burglary. Stolen property that is a firearm or explosive also constitutes a Class H felony, regardless of the property’s value.

Organized retail theft pertains to two or more people conspiring to steal merchandise with the intent to sell it. If the merchandise is valued at $1500 or more, this larceny merits a Class H felony. If the stolen merchandise is valued at $20,000 or more, the defendants will be charged with a Class G felony. 

Contact a Smithfield Criminal Defense Lawyer

The skilled legal team at the Vasquez Law Firm, PLLC, is dedicated to your defense. We treat all our clients with dignity and respect. Our dependable criminal defense lawyers recognize there are sometimes mitigating factors to property crime cases. We evaluate each case and strategize to pursue the most favorable outcome. For a free consultation, contact our Raleigh criminal defense attorneys at 1-844-YO-PELEO or 844-967-3536.







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