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Charlotte Law Blog

Theft Crimes in North Carolina: What Is Shoplifting?

On behalf of Randall & Stump, PLLC in theft crimes on Friday, April 12, 2019

 

In North Carolina, there are a number of theft crimes people get charged with and depending on the facts of the case, the same criminal conduct could lead to felony charges versus being charged with a misdemeanor. Below, we will touch on what constitutes the charge of Shoplifting and/or Concealment of Goods in North Carolina and the ways someone can be punished, if convicted.

If you or a loved one were arrested or charged with shoplifting, you need strong legal representation. Call Randall & Stump, PLLC today at (980) 237-4579 or use our online contact form for a free consultation.

Shoplifting and/or Concealment of Goods

In North Carolina, anyone who willfully conceals the goods or merchandise of a store, while still on the premises of the store and without having purchased the goods or merchandise, can and will be charged with Shoplifting and/or Concealment of Goods. If the goods or merchandise are found concealed upon or about the person and have not been paid for, this constitutes prima facie (on its face or accepted as true unless proven otherwise) evidence of willful concealment. Further, if a person is caught willfully switching price tags on items or marking goods at a lower price, they will also be charged with the offense of Shoplifting and/or Concealment of Goods.

If the person is found guilty of Shoplifting and/or Concealment of Goods and if it is their first offense, they will be punished as a Class 3 Misdemeanor and the term of imprisonment may be suspended only upon the condition that the defendant perform at least 24 hours of community service. For a second offense committed within three years of the first conviction, the defendant will be punished as a Class 2 Misdemeanor and the term of imprisonment may be suspended only on the condition that the defendant be imprisoned for a term of at least 72 hours as a condition of special probation, perform at least 72 hours of community service, or both. For a third or subsequent offense within five years after the first two convictions, the defendant will be punished as a Class 1 Misdemeanor and the term of imprisonment may be suspended only on the condition that the defendant be imprisoned for a term of at least 11 days, unless the judge finds the defendant is mentally or physically unfit to serve a term of imprisonment.

In North Carolina, an individual can also be charged with Felony Shoplifting and/or Concealment of Goods based on a simple change in facts. For example, if someone were to place an item, regardless of price/value, in a lead-lined or aluminum-lined bag or similar device to prevent the activation of any antishoplifting or inventory control device, they will be charged with the Felony variety of Shoplifting, which is punished as a Class H Felony in North Carolina.

Other miscellaneous points for consideration, when it comes to active terms of imprisonment for Shoplifting and/or Concealment of Goods convictions in North Carolina, are below:

  1. The judge may not give credit to the defendant for the first 24 hours of time spent in jail pending trial;
  2. The defendant must serve the mandatory minimum period of imprisonment order by the judge and good/gain time credit may not be used to reduce the mandatory minimum; and
  3. The defendant may not be released from jail/prison unless he is otherwise eligible and has served the mandatory minimum time of imprisonment ordered by the judge.

Should you or a loved one find yourself facing misdemeanor or felony charges for Shoplifting and/or Concealment of Goods in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, call the Charlotte office of Randall & Stump, PLLC to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can handle these cases on your own, because the consequences of a conviction could result in a life-long impact. Call today at (980) 237-4579 or use our online contact form to discuss your options and let us fight for you!