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What Are the Consequences for Theft in North Carolina?


Whether states call it theft or larceny, taking and transferring someone else’s property is unlawful. North Carolina law addresses several larceny crimes, each with severe consequences, including jail time, that could negatively impact your life if convicted. Understanding how North Carolina defines and handles these crimes is essential to help prevent a larceny charge from affecting your life. 

 Larceny Charges in North Carolina

North Carolina refers to stealing crimes as larceny, and the state no longer makes a distinction between grand larceny and petit larceny, according to state statutes. Still, the law distinguishes these crimes and the potential punishments based on the offender’s intent and the value of stolen goods or materials. You could potentially face several types of larceny charges, including:

  • Misdemeanor Larceny – Taking less than $1,000 worth of items or money is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum of 120 days in jail and a potential fine at the judge’s discretion. 
  • Misdemeanor Possession of Stolen Goods – Receiving stolen goods, money, or property valued at less than $1,000 is also a Class 1 misdemeanor, carrying the same potential punishments if convicted. 
  • Felony Larceny—Stealing items worth over $1,000 meets the requirements for a felony larceny charge, a Class H felony with a potential sentence of four to 25 months and a possible fine. 
  • Felony Possession of Stolen Goods – Receiving goods, money, property, or other valuable materials worth more than $1,000 is also a Class H felony. 

State larceny statutes also encompass other stealing crimes, including: 

  • Transporting stolen vehicles: Class H felony 
  • Shoplifting: From a Class 3 misdemeanor to a Class H felony, depending on the circumstances
  • Stealing goods (worth less than $1,000 but more than $300) from a construction site: Class I felony
  • Stealing motor fuel (worth less than $1,000): Class 1 misdemeanor 
  • Taking a shopping cart from a retail store: Class 3 misdemeanor

Long-Term Consequences of Theft Charges

Having misdemeanor or felony larceny charges on your record can impact your life beyond the time you might spend incarcerated. These charges could hinder several areas of your life, including:

  • Employment – A felony conviction will appear on routine background checks, presenting challenges when securing and maintaining jobs. 
  • Home Ownership – A criminal conviction could make renting or buying property challenging, as landlords and banks might be wary of individuals with theft-related convictions. 
  • Loss of Rights – If convicted of a felony, you may lose your right to vote or own a firearm, among other penalties. 

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney Serving Forsyth County

We know how upsetting it can be to face charges, and you might feel like you don’t have a chance to defend yourself. Don’t try to handle your defense alone. At Greenwood Law, we provide every client with the robust support and rigorous defense they deserve. We’re by your side every step of the way. Give us a call today for a free consultation about how we can help you. 

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