There are many types of theft offenses outlined in North Carolina law. One type of theft is obtaining property by false pretenses. You can be charged with a theft crime if you use lies, misrepresentations, fake documents, or scams to obtain someone else’s property for your own benefit. This offense occurs when you defraud someone else in some way. The property involved may be money, investments, real estate, vehicles, jewelry, art, or any other type of real or personal property.
The level of a false pretense charge depends on the value of the property you unlawfully obtained. Let us help you fight the charges and seek to mitigate the consequences of a potential conviction. If you are accused of this crime or any other theft charges, do not hesitate to call a Charlotte obtaining property by false pretenses defense lawyers at Randall & Stump, PLLC at (980) 237-4579. You also can reach out through our online contact form to request an initial consultation.
Obtaining Property by False Pretenses
Obtaining property by false pretenses is prohibited under North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) § 14-100. The law states that if you knowingly, by means of any kind of false pretense whatsoever, obtain or attempt to obtain money, goods, property, services, or something else of value from anyone else, with the intent to cheat or defraud that person, then you are guilty of a felony.
This crime is also known as larceny by trick and encompasses any type of false pretense that allowed you to obtain property or services you otherwise would not have lawfully obtained. The statute says the false pretense could be a past or subsisting fact, which means it could be something you told the victim at a previous date, or something you knew the victim assumed and you did not correct.
The statute also states the false pretense may be a future fulfillment or event. In other words, you may pretend you are part of an agreement in which you will provide money, property, or a service in exchange for what you receive from the victim. However, these are not the only types of false pretenses. Any other trick, scam, or misrepresentation could lead to these charges.
If you are facing accusations of obtaining property under false pretenses, call our false pretenses lawyers at Randall & Stump, PLLC right away.
Examples of False Pretense Cases
There are many types of situations that can lead to charges for obtaining or attempting to obtain property by false pretenses. A common situation occurs when someone makes an outright false statement in order to receive money or property. It could be that you stole property, or obtained stolen property and represented to a potential buyer of the goods that you owed them, in order to sell the items. In this scenario, you have deceived the buyer by stating the offered property was legally yours to sell and they relied on this misrepresentation in buying the items from you.
Another example is pretending to be someone else. You may state that you are the rightful recipient of an item in order to receive money, property, or services that were intended for someone else. You may go so far as to offer forged manners of identification, or to forge someone’s signature on a check or contract.
Whatever the alleged conduct that led to these charges, call a Charlotte criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. At Randall & Stump, PLLC, we are well aware that these charges can arise from misunderstandings. You may default on a contract after the other party fails to perform. You may have made an exaggerated statement that you never intended the other party to rely on, but they did. Whatever the case, we will work hard to build you a strong defense and avoid a conviction.
Proving You Obtained Property by False Pretense in Charlotte, NC
If you have been arrested and charged with the crime of obtaining property by false pretenses, call a criminal defense attorney right away. In criminal cases such as these, the prosecutor has the burden of proof, which means the prosecutor must prove you committed each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt. To do this, they must establish each element of the charge for the judge and jury.
The elements of an obtaining property by false pretenses charge are:
- You made a representation to another party.
- You knew the representation was false.
- You intended to deceive the other party by making this false representation.
- The other party was deceived by your representation and relied on it.
- You obtained or attempted to obtain property from the other party.
Punishments for Obtaining Property by False Pretenses
The crime of obtaining property by false pretenses is a felony. However, the level of the felony depends on the value of the money, property, or services you illegally received. If the property is valued at $100,000 or more, you will be charged with a class C felony. If convicted of a class C felony, you face between 44 and 182 months in prison.
If the value of the property is worth less than $100,000, then you will be charged with a class H felony, the punishment for which could be probation, up to between four and 25 months in prison.
Because felony sentencing in North Carolina is complicated, you should speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. By working with Randall & Stump, PLLC, you have experienced and trial tested attorneys who will fight to defend you, while also being candid regarding the consequences of a potential conviction.