There are many instances of larceny and theft crimes in Charlotte, with petty crimes such as shoplifting being the most common. If you have been charged with having stolen property in a commercial setting, then you are likely wondering what your penalties will be if convicted and how you can fight your charges. A Charlotte shoplifting attorney from The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett can help inform you about your legal situation, analyze the details of your case, and craft a strong defense.
Many individuals who are charged with shoplifting in North Carolina may be facing the criminal justice system for the first time, and they might even have been unaware that they were actually stealing or committing a crime. Our criminal defense law firm can take you on as a client, negotiate on your behalf with prosecutors, or, if necessary, represent you in court.
When people are accused of stealing items from a store, it can result in shoplifting charges in Charlotte, NC. Depending on the details of the shoplifting case, the consequences can be serious and even result in felony charges. Therefore, it is important to work with a defense lawyer who takes all cases seriously despite the severity of the charges.
Shoplifting does not just entail concealing items and smuggling them out of a store without paying. It can also include changing or altering the shopping tags to pay less money. It could also involve breaking or deactivating anti-theft mechanisms. No matter the details of your charges, a criminal lawyer from The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett can help you design a strategy to work toward optimal outcomes for your shoplifting case.
North Carolina takes shoplifting very seriously, and the state legislature has passed several laws to address this offense. If an individual is charged with shoplifting in the state, then they can be charged on the basis of one or more statutes, such as:
The North Carolina general statute that addresses larceny of property is NCGS §14.72. This law states that individuals who are arrested for shoplifting property with a value of less than $1,000 will receive a Class 1 misdemeanor charge for larceny. On the other hand, if the goods are worth over $1,000, then the shoplifting charge can be classified as a Class H felony.
It’s important to note that the shoplifting charges will be classified as a felony, despite the worth of the goods, if an individual:
NCGS §14.72 specifically applies to individuals who successfully took the stolen goods outside the store or who attempted to do so. As soon as an individual leaves the premises of the commercial property that they stole the goods from, they can be charged with larceny under this North Carolina statute.
The North Carolina general statute that addresses concealment of merchandise is NCGS §14-72.1. This statute is related to crimes that might have been carried out by the defendant within the premises of the store. Under NCGS §14-72.1, concealing any goods that you do not intend to purchase or did not purchase while still being at the store is illegal.
Swapping the price tags within the store from one item to another in an attempt to pay less for a certain item is also illegal under §14-72.1. If a person is accused of concealing goods on a store’s premises with the intent to shoplift them, and it is their first offense, then this crime is classified as a Class 3 misdemeanor. Concealment can constitute hiding items within your own or another person’s clothes or bags.
Under NCGS §14-72.1, the severity of the charges can increase based on the defendant’s criminal record. For example, if an individual is charged with shoplifting-related behavior under this statute and they have committed a previous offense, then they will be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor. If the offense is being charged for the third or subsequent time within a period of 5 years, then this will be charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
It’s important to note that shoplifting-related behavior on a store’s premises can result in charges of a Class H felony. If an individual is charged with utilizing a certain device or item to deter anti-shoplifting machines, such as an aluminum- or lead-lined piece of clothing or bag, then the charges will be for a Class H felony.
Under North Carolina shoplifting laws, the penalties associated with shoplifting-related behaviors, both on and off the store’s premises, can quickly escalate, depending on the factors involved in the case. Therefore, it is critical to work with an experienced and knowledgeable attorney who is well-versed in North Carolina theft law.
In North Carolina, the severity of the penalties associated with shoplifting crimes can vary greatly. An individual can be charged with a Class 1, 2, or 3 misdemeanor, or even a Class H felony, depending on the details of the alleged shoplifting incident and the defendant’s criminal record.
If you have been charged with stealing goods or attempting to steal or conceal goods in a retail setting in Charlotte, North Carolina, then you may be facing a variety of charges or penalties. Based on the details of a shoplifting case, the penalties can quickly become more severe. Therefore, it’s critical to work with an experienced shoplifting lawyer who can critically look at all the details of your case. That way, you can work toward getting the charges reduced or dropped.
North Carolina has established general sentencing guidelines that judges will use to determine a defendant’s penalties for a misdemeanor shoplifting crime. Not only do the sentencing guidelines take into account the severity of the charges, they also consider the criminal history of the defendant.
If a person is found guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor, which is the most minor of the shoplifting offenses, then they can face time in jail from 1 to 20 days, or they may only have to pay a fine. For a Class 2 misdemeanor, a person may have to spend one day to 2 months in jail. Finally, for a Class 1 misdemeanor, a convicted person can spend one day to 4 months in jail for the offense.
It’s important to note that less severe larceny charges can result in a penalty that does not involve going to jail. Instead, alternate sentencing measures, such as community service, probation, or other community actions, can be ordered by the court. In addition to serving time, those found guilty will be required to pay a small fine.
The team at our law firm has years of experience working in the local court system, and we also have knowledge of local actors such as judges and prosecutors. By leveraging our knowledge of state law and local court processes and actors, we can work with our clients to help them minimize the penalties associated with their cases.
The penalties associated with felony shoplifting charges are much more serious. They can result in long periods of time in jail or prison, along with the collateral consequences associated with having a criminal record. Whether a person will have to spend time in jail or prison for a felony is typically dependent on their criminal record.
The sentencing guidelines in North Carolina for felony crimes also look at the severity of the charges and the defendant’s criminal record. For a Class H felony, which can be charged if you use certain mechanisms that evade anti-shoplifting devices within the store or take over $1,000 worth of goods off the store’s premises, a person can be facing anywhere from four to twenty-five months in prison.
If you are facing felony shoplifting charges in Charlotte, North Carolina, then our legal team is here to support you. We can go over all the details of your case and, based on larceny laws, challenge any elements that must be proven. We are seasoned negotiators who have experience working with local Charlotte prosecutors. If necessary, though, we can fiercely defend you in court.
Being charged with shoplifting crimes in Charlotte can be disappointing, worrying, and overwhelming. Often, it is unclear what the potential penalties will be for a case and what legal steps will be needed to mount a strong and persuasive defense.
Whether your shoplifting charges are classified as misdemeanors or felonies, The Law Office of Kevin L. Barnett can work with you through your case and make sure that all details are considered. We can help walk you through the complex legal processes while advocating and negotiating on your behalf. Contact one of our team members today to schedule a consultation with our firm.