Understanding North Carolina larceny charges

Griffin Law, PLLC
Jun 11, 2020

North Carolina takes property crimes such as shoplifting seriously. The state imposes charges for shoplifting, known as larceny, depending on the value of the stolen items.

When facing North Carolina larceny charges, there are several potential penalties depending on the nature of the accusation.

Types of larceny crimes

Stolen items with a value of less than $1,000 result in Class 1 misdemeanor charges in North Carolina. Stealing goods valued at $1,000 or more results in Class H felony charges. For these charges to apply, the offender must actually leave the premises with the stolen items.

Regardless of the item value, North Carolina automatically imposes felony charges for some types of larceny. This includes crimes involving theft of an explosive device, firearm or state archive; crimes involving breaking and entering; and theft in which the offender steals something from another individual’s person.

Hiding goods in an attempt to steal them is a separate crime in North Carolina if the person does not leave the store premises with the items. The state categorizes concealment of merchandise as a misdemeanor offense.

Penalties for larceny

Class 1 misdemeanor larceny carries between one and 45 days in jail depending on the person’s criminal history and other circumstances of the case. Felony larceny carries a prison sentence of four to eight months, which also varies based on the particulars of the incident.

Concealing merchandise without leaving the store premises carries these charges:

  • 24 hours of community service for a first offense (Class 3 misdemeanor)
  • 72 hours of community service, 72 hours in jail and/or probation for a second offense (Class 2 misdemeanor)
  • Minimum of 11 days in jail for a third offense (Class 1 misdemeanor)

In addition to the state’s criminal larceny penalties, offenders are also subject to civil penalties. Usually, they must reimburse the store owner for the value of the merchandise along with attorney fees. In some cases, the judge may order additional punitive damages.

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