When someone takes a chance and decides to shoplift from a store, they may assume if they get caught that it’s not a big deal. They may assume that they’ll be charged with stealing, get a slap on the wrist, and then move on with their lives. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality.
A 41-year old man in Taylorsville was arrested for shoplifting. He is now facing several charges, including larceny and concealment of goods. Both of these crimes carry serious penalties.
As with most other decisions in life, it’s good to ask yourself if shoplifting is actually worth it – especially after you know what charges and penalties you can potentially face. Read on to find out more about these charges and what it could mean for you.
The Two Types of Shoplifting Charges in North Carolina
In North Carolina, there are two types of shoplifting charges you can be charged with if you attempt to take property from a store without the owner’s consent and with the intention of depriving them of the property permanently. These two charges are:
Concealment of Goods
If you are caught shoplifting while still in the store, then it is considered concealment of goods.
Larceny of Goods
Once you leave the store with the items you’ve concealed, then you can be charged with larceny of goods. This is a serious offense and offers more serious penalties than the concealment of goods.
North Carolina’s Penalties for Shoplifting
If you are found guilty of the crime you are charged with, then you can face serious penalties. However, these penalties will be dependent upon the value of the merchandise you were attempting to conceal.
For merchandise valued under $1,000, the defendant is often charged with a misdemeanor crime. For items valued above $1,000, a felony is often charged.
There are exceptions in the law to be charged with a felony even if the items concealed are valued less than $1,000.
Concealment of Goods Convictions in North Carolina
There is a complicated system used in North Carolina to sentence a person for concealment of goods that is based on factors such as criminal history. It’s common to find these penalties associated with concealment of goods cases, but it can vary:
If you are convicted of concealment of goods and it’s your first offense, then It’s likely that you will be convicted of a Class 3 misdemeanor and sentenced to up to 10 days in jail and community service.
If you are found concealing goods or altering price tags for a second time, then you can be convicted of a Class 2 misdemeanor. This is punishable by community service, probation, or up to one month in jail. If you have a prior criminal record, then there may be larger consequences.
If you have two prior convictions for concealment of goods in the last five years, then you can be convicted of a Class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 45 days in jail.
NC Larceny Convictions
As far as larceny is concerned, the penalties can be quite steep. Just as with concealment of goods, the charges you face depend upon the value of the items taken. Items valued under $1,000 can result in a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the value of the items is above $1,000, then it is considered a Class H felony.
In general, these charges are punishable by:
- Up to 120 days in jail for a Class 1 misdemeanor
- Up to 39 months in prison for a Class H felony
Shoplifting is a serious offense, so do some serious thinking before you attempt it.