Misdemeanor vs. felonious theft consequences

| Feb 24, 2021 | Firm News |

North Carolina takes theft crimes seriously, particularly those that include burglary and breaking and entering. If convicted on felony charges, your civil liberties may be affected, your job prospects reduced and your future irrevocably changed.

According to Britannica, the crime of larceny, also called theft, entails the purposeful, physical removal of an object without the owner’s consent. Depending on the value of the property, you may face misdemeanor charges. However, a robbery or burglary conviction, regardless of the value of items taken, carry a felony charge.

Misdemeanor larceny

Shoplifting, a petty misdemeanor, occurs when a shopper commits a crime that involves merchandise concealment and removal from the premises. The penalty for a conviction on these charges includes community service. You may receive a suspended jail sentence or up to 45 days, depending on whether this is a first or subsequent offense.

Felonious larceny

Larceny is a class H felony unless a state statute specifies otherwise. If the theft includes property valued at more than $1,000, you likely face felony charges. Theft becomes robbery if you take property from a person and burglary if the theft occurs in conjunction with the crime of breaking and entering. The punishment depends on the details of your case.

As a first-time offender, your sentence may include four months’ incarceration. If you have previous offenses, you can spend up to two years in jail. Regardless of the jail term, the court typically holds offenders liable for damages, which may include damage to a home or structure in addition to the cost of the stolen property.

The court may drop the charges and dismiss your case or reduce felony charges to a misdemeanor, depending on your situation’s unique circumstances. Understanding your actions’ ramifications and how state laws categorize burglary and breaking and entering can help you assess your options.