Larceny is another word for theft and the two terms may be used interchangeably depending on the state. In North Carolina, larceny is the legal term most used.

North Carolina breaks larceny down into three different categories. Depending on the severity of your offense, you could face significant legal penalties.

What are the different types?

The three different types of theft in North Carolina are based on the value of items or property stolen. The larceny categories are:

  • Misdemeanor larceny: Stealing property or goods worth less than $1,000, may give you a misdemeanor charge.
  • Felony larceny: You might be charged with a Class H felony if you have over $1,000 worth of stolen property.
  • Shoplifting: This is a lesser charge compared to the other two categories. However, you could still face a class 3 misdemeanor if a store employee catches you stealing.

Additionally, if you are caught shoplifting twice in three years, you might receive a class 2 misdemeanor charge.

What penalties might you face?

The penalties you could potentially face are based on your past criminal history and the severity of your larceny charge. Whether your crime was a misdemeanor or felony, you could face these charges:

  • Class 3 misdemeanor: For a class 3 misdemeanor, the maximum punishment you could face is 30 days in jail and up to $200 in fines.
  • Class 2 misdemeanor: A class 2 misdemeanor means you might receive a sentence of up to 60 days in jail or fines up to $1,000.
  • Class 1 misdemeanor: The penalty for a class 1 misdemeanor may be a jail sentence of 120 days and fines up to the judge’s discretion.
  • Class H felony: If you stole goods totaling more than $1,000, you could receive a prison sentence of four to 24 months.

Speaking with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible might be in your best interest. If a lawyer is involved at the beginning stages of your case, they may be able to minimize the penalties you face. If your charge was a class 3 misdemeanor, you might even avoid jail time altogether.