If you are like many North Carolina residents, you have heard the term larceny but you are not entirely clear on what it means. Understanding the different types and how to defend against them is critical if you find yourself so charged. Larceny requires specific intent, and this element is what differentiates it from common theft.

According to Findlaw, larceny incorporates several elements:

  • The unlawful taking of personal or physical property
  • The property belongs to someone else
  • The owner did not give consent
  • The intent is to deprive the owner of the property permanently

There are several degrees of this charge, from petty theft, which refers to inexpensive items to grand larceny, a charge that applies to property with higher value. Depending on the circumstances, some crimes are misdemeanors, while others are felonies.

The number of items taken affects the severity of charges brought against you. Typically, if one owner experiences theft of multiple objects in a single activity, it is one larceny. However, if the belongings of several property owners are unlawfully removed without their consent in one event; the court may charge defendants with multiple crimes, which can result in felony charges.

A felony conviction may have life-altering affects, from curtailing your civil liberties to hindering your ability to get certain types of jobs. Prosecutors generally have significant leeway when it comes to theft-related crimes. Having a representative that understands the nuances of larceny laws is critical to correctly challenging the evidence and presenting your side of the story.

This information is provided for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.