Theft Crimes

Criminal Defense Lawyers If you’ve been arrested for larceny charges, it’s important you understand the possible consequences of a conviction. An experienced Durham theft crimes lawyer can help explain your legal rights and options in court, guiding you through the process.

Crimes of theft and crimes of dishonesty can adversely affect your ability to make a living in the future, to find a good paying job or even a place to live.

“No one wants to be considered a thief. It’s a reputation that’s hard to shake. A conviction for larceny, concealment of good and fraud can have tremendous unforeseen consequences if not handled correctly.”

– Cole Williams, Criminal Defense Lawyer

What is Larceny in North Carolina?

Larceny Larceny charges can take several different forms. It may be as simple as something like shoplifting in a store or as complex as embezzlement or larceny by employee, which involve positions of trust or authority.

You probably already basically understand what is larceny. It’s taking something that doesn’t belong to you. It’s theft.

In North Carolina, the prosecutor is required to prove larceny charges Beyond a Reasonable Doubt. There are 5 Elements of the offense:

  • The Defendant took property belonging to someone else; and,
  • That the Defendant carried that property away; and,
  • That there was not consent by the victim for that to happen; and,
  • That the Defendant intended to permanently deprive the victim of the property; and,
  • That there wasn’t a mistake, that the Defendant knew they weren’t entitled to the property

Check out the Pattern Jury Instructions for larceny charges.

Is Larceny a Felony or Misdemeanor?

The answer is, “it depends.” There are a lot of different factors to consider.

You may not realize this but, under the NC criminal laws, larceny is a felony unless otherwise categorized by the general statutes.

1. Felony Larceny

North Carolina renamed the distinctions between petit larceny and grand larceny. The criminal law reads, “Unless otherwise provided by statute, larceny is a Class H felony.” N.C.G.S. 14 - 70 click here.

2. Value of Items - +/- $1,000

Figuring out whether a case is a misdemeanor or felony in North Carolina may have to do with the value of the goods or items taken. Stealing items worth more than $1,000 is a Class H felony.

If t’s below that amount, without more, it would normally be considered misdemeanor larceny, a Class 1 offense… which is still serious.

You may have heard of unlawful concealment. Under Chapter 14: Criminal Laws of North Carolina, it’s formally called “concealment of merchandise.”

3. Habitual Misdemeanor Larceny – Felony Charges

There are times where multiple convictions of misdemeanor larceny may result in Habitual Misdemeanor Larceny charges, which is a felony.

4. Embezzlement vs. Larceny by Employee

Other larceny charges consider who is the victim and who is the Defendant. For example, if you’re an employee and steal something from work, that could be a type of felony larceny.

  1. Larceny by Employee involves stealing things from the employer
  2. Embezzlement charges in North Carolina may relate a larceny centered on an abuse of a position of trust or authority

There is a technical, legal difference between embezzlement and larceny by employee charges in North Carolina. Both are felonies in NC.

5. Robbery Charges, Armed Robbery and Common Law Robbery

There are also different types of robbery charges in North Carolina. Common Law Robbery is a larceny / theft that involves the use of force or a threat of violence.

You may have heard people refer to cases like robbery with dangerous weapons and robbery with firearms that involve the use of a deadly weapon like guns and knives as Strong Arm Robbery.

The essential elements of Robbery with a Firearm charges in North Carolina require the state to prove:

  • Taking property from a person or taking property in their presence
  • Carrying away the property
  • The victim does not consent on a voluntary basis to carrying away and taking the property
  • That the Defendant knows he or she is not entitled to the property
Call Cole Williams – Durham Theft Crimes Attorney

The legal staff at the Law Office of N. Cole Williams is dedicated legal professionals.

With 20+ years courtroom experience, Cole Williams is available for consultation in legal matters in Durham NC and Durham County for things like DWI charges, misdemeanor charges, serious felonies, and domestic violence.

Call now for a free confidential consultation.

Cole Williams is a fabulous courtroom attorney. He's someone I respect and admire, having litigated complex legal matters in Durham with him. Our firm regularly refers clients to Cole and his staff, knowing they'll be treated in a kind, professional manner. Bill Powers, Charlotte Attorney
I've known Cole Williams both personally and professionally for more than 20 years. Cole has a keen legal mind and tenacious spirit. He is widely respected both in the Durham legal community and in North Carolina as a courtroom advocate. I highly recommend Cole Williams to you. John Fanney, Raleigh Criminal Defense Attorney