Misdemeanor larceny is a misdemeanor crime in North Carolina where the person has taken property of another with the intent to permanently deprive the other person of its use, and the value of the property is $1,000 or less.
Essentially larceny is theft, although there are other types of theft – theft by fraud, for instance. A larceny can also be a felony if the value of the property exceeds $1,000, or is committed while the person is an employee and took the items during employment, or took the items from the person directly, or the item is a firearm. N.C.G.S. § 14-72 is the relevant statute for most larceny crimes in North Carolina.
Will I be convicted of a larceny?
We often see in our offices people who have been accused of larceny, sometimes in connection with shoplifting. They otherwise have no criminal record, and are sorry for what they have done. Or they have been wrongfully accused. In either case, a larceny case usually has three possible outcomes.
First the person may be eligible for a diversion or deferral program as explained below.
Second, the person may be ineligible for a diversion or deferral program, but may wish to plead guilty to avoid a harsher sentence. If so, your criminal lawyer will enter into negotiations with the District Attorney to try to arrive at the best outcome for you.
Finally, the person may wish to have a trial, which in District Court will involve a judge ultimately making a decision about whether the state has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
If found guilty after a District Court trial, the defendant has the right to appeal the case for a trial de novo.
If you’ve never been convicted of a crime before, and if you have never participated in a diversion program before, you may be eligible for a diversion or deferred prosecution agreement whereby you will be asked to complete community service, pay court costs and fines, and return to court after either six months or a year for a compliance date where the charges would be dismissed if you are in fully compliance with the deferral program.
If you believe you are innocent of the charge, or you believe the state has a very weak case against you, you may wish to have a trial. The risk of a trial is that you will be convicted of the charge, and punished. Misdemeanor larceny is a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 120 days in jail. In most cases, for people who have not been in trouble before, probation would be imposed. In fact, for first time offenders, a person may not be jailed as a result of a misdemeanor larceny conviction, except if they violate probation.
Talk to your Raleigh criminal lawyer about whether your should go to trial given the facts of your case.