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South Carolina Code Annotated 16-13-30: Petit Larceny; Grand Larceny (Misdemeanor; Felony)

1. Definition and Elements of the Crime

Petit Larceny; Grand Larceny Under South Carolina Code Annotated 16-13-30, the crime of larceny is the unlawful taking and carrying away of the personal property of another with the intent to permanently deprive that person of the personal property.

The crime of larceny can either be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the value of the property taken.

To prove the crime of larceny, the State of South Carolina must be able to prove the following elements Beyond a Reasonable Doubt:

  1. The victim had a possessory interest, i.e., ownership interest in the property taken
  2. The Defendant wrongfully took the property in that the Defendant did not have the consent of the owner to take the property
  3. The Defendant carried away the property
  4. The Defendant intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property

The Defendant must take the property far enough to have control over the item taken. A slight movement can satisfy the “carrying away” element. For example, removing an item from a clothing rack by the door of a store and then walking out the door may be sufficient.

The prosecutor must produce the actual victim, the person who has a possessory interest in the property taken, in order to prosecute a larceny case.

If the item taken has a value greater than $2,000, the crime is defined and grand larceny in South Carolina. Grand larceny is a felony criminal charge.

If the item taken has a value less than $2,000, the crime is defined as petit larceny in SC. Petit larceny is punishable as a misdemeanor offense.

Larceny crimes include the larceny of any article of goods, choses in action, bank bills, bills receivable, chattels, or other article of person property.

2. Examples of Grand Larceny and Petit Larceny

Defendant has not had steak in several weeks due to the meat shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Defendant knows that a farmer lives nearby in Clover, in York County, and keeps steaks for personal use in a refrigerator in his barn. Defendant sneaks over one night and takes three dozen dry aged steaks valued at $2,001. Defendant can be charged with grand larceny in South Carolina, a felony crime.

Defendant has been a huge Michael Jordan fan his entire life and collects every new pair of Air Jordan shoes that come onto the market. The Air Jordan shoes have become even more popular since the premier of the documentary “The Last Dance” on ESPN. Once the stay at home order is lifted, Defendant wakes up at 7 am to stand in line to buy a pair of the newly released 2020 Air Jordan shoes at a sporting goods store in Rock Hill. In anticipation of the easing of stay at home restrictions, thousands of patrons camped out in their cars in a parking lot off Cherry Road. Defendant is close to the end of the line when he arrives. The shoes sell out before Defendant has a chance to buy a pair. Defendant, frustrated, notices two friends talking with their shoe bags sitting against a wall. Defendant sneaks up behind them and takes one of the bags. A security guard spots Defendant in the act and apprehends him as he is walking to his car. The shoes are valued at $250. Defendant can be charged with petit larceny in South Carolina, a misdemeanor crime.

3. Related South Carolina Statutes and Topics of Interest

For other similar articles or related statutes to larceny, please see:

  1. South Carolina Code Annotated 16-11-330: Robbery and Attempted Robbery While Armed with a Deadly Weapon (Felony)
  2. South Carolina Code Annotated 16-11-330: Robbery and Attempted Robbery While Armed with a Deadly Weapon (Felony)
  3. S.C. Code Ann. 16-13-110: Shoplifting
  4. Burdens of Proof in Criminal Court and Civil Court
  5. The greatest of these is love
4. Defenses to Petit Larceny and Grand Larceny

Petit Larceny; Grand Larceny If a Defendant can show he or she did not intend to permanently deprive the owner of the property, the Defendant should not be convicted of felony or misdemeanor larceny. Additionally, if the Defendant can show that the “victim” did not have a possessory interest in the item taken, larceny charges would be inappropriate. The State bears the Burden of Proof for all criminal charges in South Carolina. That legal standard is Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.

5. Penalties for Larceny in South Carolina

The crime of petit larceny in South Carolina is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum period of incarceration of 30 days in the county jail and/or a one thousand dollar fine.

The crime of grand larceny in S.C. is a felony punishable by a maximum period of incarceration of five years if the value of the property is less than $10,000 (but more than $2,000). The crime of grand larceny is punishable by a maximum period of incarceration of ten years if the value of the property is greater than $10,000.

6. Criminal Defense for Larceny Charges

A larceny charge is a serious charge that can result in substantial monetary fines and prison time. You should immediately consult with an experienced South Carolina attorney in Rock Hill or Ft. Mill who understands how to fight these charges in court. Larceny convictions carry far reaching implications to your everyday life. For example, crimes of theft, such as larceny, also can prevent you from obtaining a loan, signing a lease or securing a job.

At Powers Law, our South Carolina attorney, Chris Beddow, understands how to zealously defend you in court against larceny charges. Please call us today for a free consultation.

Chris J. Beddow is the sole South Carolina criminal defense lawyer at Powers Law Firm, PA. He is responsible for all legal content relative to South Carolina and the laws of South Carolina.

It’s imperative to begin your defense without delay. Please call 803-504-6686 immediately.

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