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What is a Felony Larceny Charge in Charlotte, North Carolina?

By Randall & Stump excels in criminal defense, serving clients in Charlotte, NC & other surrounding cities.
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Category Criminal Defense, Larceny
Friday, February 25, 2022

Man holding large stack of cash

Even accusations of theft or other forms of larceny are serious. They suggest that you’re dishonest, which is something that follows you, especially if you’re criminally charged, or worse yet – convicted.

If you are arrested, it’s essential to know whether you face a misdemeanor or a felony. Both must be taken seriously, but a felony in North Carolina means much harsher penalties.

North Carolina Felony Larceny Laws

Specifically, larceny covers theft and receiving and possessing stolen goods.

North Carolina General Statute §14-72 prohibits property theft and defines larceny. It states you can be charged with felony larceny if the property you allegedly stole is worth more than the given value or is a specific type of item.

Larceny becomes a felony when:

  • The theft of goods is valued at more than $1,000
  • Receiving or possessing stolen goods valued at more than $1,000 while knowing or having reason to believe they’re stolen
  • The property theft is related to a burglary
  • Explosive or incendiary devices or substances are taken (not including fireworks, gasoline, or any flammable substance that serve legitimate uses)
  • Firearms are stolen
  • North Carolina State Archives are involved
  • Theft of property occurs when you have at least four prior theft convictions

Misdemeanor vs. Felony Larceny in North Carolina

The statute also divides larceny offenses between Class H felonies and Class 1 misdemeanors.

Most Class H larceny felonies are listed above, while larceny involving stolen goods valued under one thousand dollars is typically a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Felony Larceny Penalties in Charlotte, NC

If convicted of a Class H felony, you can be sentenced to four to 25 months in prison. The specific sentence depends on the details of your case and your criminal history. The same is true of a Class 1 misdemeanor, which could be from one to 60 months.

In addition to potential prison time, other conviction consequences can include difficulty and inability to:

  • Get hired or keep your job
  • Be accepted into college
  • Join the military
  • Obtain some professional licenses
  • Rent a home
  • Obtain or maintain child custody
  • Obtain loans

When deciding how to approach your case, you need to think about everything that may happen after a conviction so you can judge the risks and benefits of different ways to handle it.

Possible Defenses to Larceny in Mecklenburg County

While theft crimes are often painted in black and white terms, the reality is much more complex. Misunderstandings and mistakes are common, and various scenarios can lead to larceny charges.

Remember, there are ways you may defend yourself from theft-related accusations, depending on the facts.

Some larceny defenses include:

  • Mistaken identity/alibi: You didn’t commit the crime because you were not at the scene and doing something else.
  • Consent: The property owner consented to you taking it or sold it to you.
  • Lack of knowledge: No one informed you it was stolen, you had no reason to think it was, and/or the person giving it to you lied about where it came from.
  • Belief you owned it: You have a good faith belief that you, not the other person, own the property.
  • Duress: You were forced into participating in the crime because of threats by others.
  • Weak evidence/Mistakes: The prosecution’s evidence and witnesses aren’t credible. Or evidence should be excluded because of police and/or prosecution mistakes.

Defenses are based on the evidence in your case, which can be found through an investigation into what happened and after the prosecution turns over their evidence in your case.

Ways to Reduce the Consequences of a Felony Larceny Conviction

Most criminal cases end with a plea agreement where the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge or agrees to a given sentence. Through such an agreement, you may get a lighter sentence and have an easier time putting this behind you. It allows both sides to avoid the “all or nothing” outcome of a trial.

For example, in North Carolina, Mecklenburg County has pretrial services that might allow you to avoid prison time. If you qualify and agree to participate, you may need to attend weekly office visits, undergo substance abuse screening and treatment (if applicable), and be referred to appropriate community resources. If you fail to meet program requirements, you could serve time in jail.

Contact a Felony Larceny Charge Lawyer for Help

Larceny charges cannot be ignored or left up to chance. Theft convictions stay on your record and often result in time behind bars.

To talk with an experienced Charlotte area defense attorney, schedule a free and confidential consultation with Randall & Stump, Criminal Defense Attorneys, through our online contact form or call 980-237-4579.