Under North Carolina shoplifting laws, you can face a criminal charge without even leaving the store. Yes, shoplifting laws in this state are quite strict. If you’ve been charged with a shoplifting or related offense in North Carolina, you don’t only face potential jail time, you face irreparable harm to your reputation and even your personal and professional relationships.
The general public has many misconceptions about people who shoplift. They seem to think it’s committed by young punks, simply stealing to cause trouble, without care of the consequences. The vast majority of shoplifting crimes, however, are committed by normal, everyday adults. They may steal because they need to or because they have an addiction to it. As difficult as it is for people to understand, this problem is more widespread than many know.
Although the “why” may vary from case to case, the same statutes are applied whether you stole bread to eat or a pair of shoes you didn’t really need. If the prosecution can prove your guilt, you will be forced to face the consequences.
NC Shoplifting Laws & Penalties
The penalty you face for a shoplifting charge in North Carolina is dependent on the value of the goods you are accused of stealing. Felony larceny charges apply when they are valued at more than $1,000. This is a class H felony and carries 4-8 months in prison for a first time offender. If this isn’t your first offense, you could face up to 25 months.
If the goods are valued at less than $1,000, you could face class 1 misdemeanor larceny charges. This would result in up to one year in jail. Typically, a judge doesn’t sentence a first time offender to the maximum penalty, however. Instead, you may serve a few days and some probation.
North Carolina Concealment Law
You may not have even made it out of the store with the items you intended to steal. If you merely conceal items while in a retail establishment you could face a Class 3 misdemeanor charge. This could carry up to 30 days in jail.
A local criminal defense attorney understands the differences in North Carolina shoplifting laws. They know what options are available within the jurisdiction you are charged and how best to help you build a defense strategy.
If you are charged with concealment, shoplifting, or even organized retail theft in North Carolina, contact us to take advantage of a free case evaluation with a local criminal defense attorney today.