Is larceny a felony or misdemeanor criminal case?

Charlotte Criminal Defense Lawyer Bill Powers Answers the Question:  Is larceny a felony or misdemeanor criminal case?

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Why are some things considered a “minor misdemeanor” and other allegations of larceny considered a felony? What is a felony and why is it more serious?  Is larceny a felony or misdemeanor criminal case in North Carolina?  Does it even make a difference?

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a criminal charge or a facing indictment for felony larceny, breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, or any crime of “theft” or dishonesty, call a defense lawyer immediately.

Our law firm considers all such criminal charges as “serious” because of the possible long term consequences to your reputation and the ability to find and keep a good paying job.

“Charges involving larceny in North Carolina, it doesn’t matter felony or misdemeanor, carry some pretty harsh realities.  They have a way of following you around. We recommend talking to a defense lawyer about legal representation immediately.”  Bill Powers

People charged with larceny often have a lot of questions, including:

After getting charged and arrested in North Carolina, those are all reasonable questions.  Sometimes people don’t understand the full extent of the criminal charges or how they can affect your permanent record.  Our law office is comprised of experienced defense lawyers Charlotte NC who can help answer these and many other legal questions as part of legal representation.

Our law firm and defense lawyers have trial experience.  That means we’re used to going to court, preparing defenses, and developing a legal strategy for criminal charges, both felony or misdemeanor cases in NC.  Bill Powers

Larceny, Shoplifting, and Unlawful Concealment Charges in North Carolina – Handling Misdemeanor Criminal Cases in Charlotte NC 

Is larceny a felony or misdemeanor criminal case?  How is court scheduled in North Carolina?


Larceny charges a felony or misdemeanor in North Carolina

What is larceny?

Everyone knows it’s illegal to take something that isn’t yours.  It’s common knowledge.

In fact, that’s at least in part where the legal term of “common law” gets its name.  They are the laws commonly known and understand in the community.

North Carolina criminal laws still recognize the common law to some extent.  They were brought over from Britain when we were still a colony.

But, we also have updated the criminal laws in NC, writing them down as “statutes,” where some offenses made illegal not necessarily because “everyone knows that,” but rather because certain types of criminal offenses or allegations of criminal charges are deemed more serious by elected officials.

That leads to confusion sometimes, especially when it comes to crimes of theft or criminal charges like larceny or larceny after breaking and entering in North Carolina and larceny by employee or embezzlement.

For example, many criminal charges in NC for theft, when trying to determine if larceny is a felony or misdemeanor criminal case in North Carolina has to do with the value of the item taken.  Many people facing allegations of theft assume the “$1,000 dollar rule,” where anything UNDER $1,000 dollars is considered a misdemeanor larceny.

It is logical to therefore assume anything theft of personal property valued at $1,000 or more is automatically treated as a felony larceny in NC, which is not always true.

The criminal justice system in North Carolina considers not only the value of the personal property, but occasionally it makes a difference who the victim is for the criminal charges.  That’s true with embezzlement charges in NC and “larceny by employee,” which are both felony charges in North Carolina.

Experienced defense lawyers in Charlotte NC spend time explaining criminal charges, especially cases like embezzlement where taking almost anything of value from your employer is automatically a felony.  Bill Powers 

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Hi. I’m Bill Powers. I’m a defense attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina that helps people with different criminal traffic DWI type of matters.  It doesn’t matter if felony or misdemeanor, our law office provides legal representation and legal advice to people facing criminal charges.

I offer a FREE CONSULTATION, so there’s no charge for the consultation. It’s confidential, and I like to answer these questions we see online about different criminal charges in NC on different message boards, lists, or things like that, just to help people out, and generally speaking, if you have a specific question, if you want to know a more full or thorough answer to your inquiry, which is oftentimes not only recommended, but in some instances just downright the smart thing to do, give us a call.

If not us, please call some other lawyer or law office to get answers to your questions.

This is a common one, and it’s common because of the of offenses that we have that we see charged in North Carolina, and the number of times I see the same question posted over and over and over online.  It involves what appears to be misdemeanor larceny charges in North Carolina.  Clients often want to know what makes a larceny a felony in NC vs. only a less serious “misdemeanor criminal charge.”

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What is the worst case scenario for a misdemeanor larceny?  What happens if I’m charged with a misdemeanor in NC?  

Someone they love is pressing charges against me because she has a grudge against me, said I stole some money from her.

The warrant issued was the day that person was arrested.

Okay. So, really what this is the question is what’s the worst case scenario on a charge, but it’s actually couched in.


MORE INFORMATION: How Important Is Good Legal Advice?


It seems like a domestic issue.

The reason it’s important is that all too regularly I see people in court handling a larceny case thinking I went into Walmart and I tried to take, I don’t know, a Snickers bar or something, and they wrote me a citation, and I’m just gonna go in and … I took it, and now I’m just gonna admit responsibility, and while I understand the sentiment and I understand the willingness to accept responsibility, I don’t think people always get, especially younger people nowadays, get what happens from that point forward in your life.

Larceny, shoplifting, unlawful concealment, taking things, attempting at taking things, stealing things, misrepresenting things, providing misinformation in order to obtain things, that may not carry jail time.


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What Happens If I Am Charged with Embezzlement?


I mean, there are certain circumstances where just realistically it’s not gonna happen.

It may affect your ability in your life to get a job in the future because it’s a crime of moral turpitude.

It’s a crime of dishonesty.

It’s a crime where you are labeled for the rest of your life a thief, and you’re like, “Well, Bill, it wasn’t that big of a deal.”

Trust me, if you’re charged with felony or misdemeanor larceny in NC, it’s a deal. . .a big one at that.  That’s because there are often long-term consequences if you’re convicted of a crime of theft or moral turpitude in North Carolina.  Bill Powers 

It’s a big deal for employers when they’re looking at your record to see that you had a larceny case on your record. It doesn’t even have to be a felony.

Larceny cases, crimes of dishonesty or moral turpitude have long-term, long lasting serious consequences, and that’s even for just American or US citizens. If you are in some different status, visiting our country or you’re here trying to apply or make application to the country, it could result in your deportation and removal from the country and prohibition from reentering.

Now, I am not an immigration lawyer.

I don’t handle immigration matters, and anytime there’s any chance that that may be an issue, we always refer those type of cases to an immigration lawyer. It’s that serious. It’s that consequential. It has that serious of long-term options available.

So, what happens? What’s the worst case scenario?

Well, it depends a lot on the type of larceny.

This one in this particular instance sounded like a misdemeanor larceny. If there’s no prior record, we have grids, or some people call them grids or sentencing guidelines, sentencing charts, where … And we have these online, by the way. If you’d like to see the most recent one, check out our blog post. Excuse me.

Where we look at the type of offense, is it a class A1 of a misdemeanor all the way down to a class three, so you have A1, 1, 2, and 3, depending on the severity of the offense, and I know I’m talking about offenses other than larceny, and then we have prior record levels across the top of the grid of 1, 2, and 3, based on your prior record, and depending on where you fall within the grid, in some types of cases, more minor cases, maybe the class 3 misdemeanor, the most you can get is a fine and maybe some community service, or what we refer to as a community punishment.

On the upper level misdemeanors, A1 misdemeanors, you may get some jail time.

The maximum on an A1 misdemeanor, and not to say that larceny falls within that category, the maximum for assault on a female, assault with deadly weapon, assault on a government official, assault on a child as an A1 misdemeanor, if it falls within that category, is 150 days in jail if you have the worst prior record level depending on the points assigned to your prior convictions.


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Larceny from a Merchant – NCGA 14-72.11

North Carolina Larceny Laws – Click Here


So, on larceny cases, I think people when they have assault cases, they understand that’s kind of serious.

DWI, people understand the serious nature and possibly the consequences of your license.

I see all too often people coming to court thinking they can throw themselves on the mercy of the court and walking out of the courtroom thinking, oh, I just got court cost. Everything’s kosher. It’s not on my record. They don’t even understand what a conviction means.

They’ll say, “30 days suspended, unsupervised probation, it’s no big deal,” and then weeks, days, months, years go on and people start to realize, hey, I didn’t get this job, I didn’t get this job, and this opportunity wasn’t open to me, and then they start asking questions.

Why not? Why can’t I get a lease on an apartment, and I provide them my background information and they say they won’t lease to me or whatever.

That’s the long-term consequence of larceny charges, so it may not be jail, it may be jail, it may not be supervised probation, it may be unsupervised probation, but the worst case scenario is your name. It’s your reputation.

It’s what you are called for the rest of your life.

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That doesn’t mean there’s a get out of free jail card in every larceny case.

That doesn’t mean that you may not, despite best efforts of counsel or yourself, you may not be able to avoid a conviction, but it sure as heck makes sense to find out are you eligible for a diversionary type of program, are you eligible to do some community service or some other alternative to the conviction, if at all possible.

That’s what lawyers do.

We provide information, we provide options, we explain to you how a very complex legal system, sometimes very complex legal system, works in North Carolina.

We’re here to help.

Give me a ring. My name’s Bill Powers, 877-462-3841, and great question. Thanks for asking it.

Our law firm helps people facing criminal charges in both North Carolina and South Carolina criminal defense matters.  Bill Powers is licensed to practice law in North Carolina and is a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the NBTA / NBLSC.

We serve clients throughout North Carolina and South Carolina including, but not limited to, those in the following localities: Mecklenburg County including Charlotte; Gaston County including Gastonia; Iredell County including Statesville and Mooresville; Lincoln County including Lincolnton; Union County including Monroe and Indian Trail; and York County including Fort Mill, Rock Hill, and York.

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NC DWI Lawyer Bill Powers

Bill Powers – Attorney at Law – Charlotte NC

Charlotte NC Main Office

2412 Arty Ave

Charlotte, NC 28208

Phone: 704-342-4357

Charlotte NC “Near Mecklenburg Courthouse” Office

1057 E Morehead St #100B

Charlotte, NC 28204

Phone: 980-729-6201
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331 E Main St #200

Rock Hill, SC 29730

Toll Free: 877-462-3841
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Misdemeanor Larceny 1710R

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