Raleigh Attorneys Defend Clients Against Larceny Charges
Knowledgeable legal team ready to assist throughout North Carolina
Theft, larceny and related offenses, such as burglary, are crimes that carry serious penalties and require skilled, experienced counsel to provide a vigorous defense. Theft can be alleged to occur in many ways and in varied situations, but the common element that must be proved is intent to deprive another person of rightful ownership. The criminal defense attorneys at Hatch, Little & Bunn, LLP are adept at dealing with all forms of theft charges and have provided an unmatched level of representation for more than half a century.
Felony and misdemeanor larceny
In general, larceny is a misdemeanor if the value of the property is less than $1,000. Thefts of greater value are felonies. The following theft offenses are felonies regardless of the value of the goods stolen:
- Theft by burglary
- Any theft from someone’s person
- Theft of firearms, explosives, or incendiary devices or substances
- Theft of papers from the North Carolina archives
- Larceny after breaking or entering
Fraud, or theft by deception, is considered a more serious felony if the property stolen is worth $100,000 or more. Receiving stolen property that you know or have reason to know was stolen can also be either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the value of the goods.
Burglary vs. robbery
Burglary, though often a means of stealing property, is not in itself theft. It is defined as entry into premises without permission with the intent to commit any felony. If the building is occupied by someone at the time, the burglary is a more serious crime. Burglary does not require the use of a weapon or a threat or violence to anyone. Robbery, on the other hand, is a form of theft that involves possessing, using or threatening to use force or a dangerous weapon in a way that threatens or endangers the life of a person. These crimes often overlap or are charged together. Our experienced attorneys are skilled at investigating the underlying facts and circumstances and determining the optimal defenses available to fight or reduce the charges.
Types of robbery and penalties for each
North Carolina generally classifies robberies based on the degree of force involved. The two basic types and their penalties are:
- Common-law robbery — Sometimes called “strong arm” or “snatch and grab” robbery, this offense relies on the physical force of the perpetrator. In some cases, physical intimidation is sufficient. The offense is a Class G felony carrying a presumptive minimum sentence of 10 months and greater, depending on the offender’s history.
- Armed robbery — The offense occurs when you possess a weapon and use it or threaten to use it during the commission of the robbery. The offense is a Class D felony with a presumptive minimum prison sentence of 51 months and greater, depending on your criminal record.
Because the penalties for robbery are severe, you need to retain an experienced defense attorney who is committed to providing a robust defense.
Defending against robbery charges
Defenses against a robbery charge include:
- Alibi — This defense means you were somewhere else at the time of the offense and/or the witness or victim was mistaken in identifying you as the perpetrator.
- Lack of intent — You did not mean to steal the property or deprive the owner of possession.
- Lack of “force or fear” — If you took property but did not use force or fear against a person to get it, the offense may be larceny, not robbery.
The facts supporting these defenses can also lead to a reduction in charges or to a plea bargain for a lesser penalty.
Standing by you in and out of court
If you are being investigated for or have been accused of theft, you need a capable criminal defense attorney in your corner. We will represent you from your first encounter with police until your case is completed, whether by dismissal, plea negotiation or trial. We advise you of your rights, explain the consequences of the charges, investigate the facts of your case and present the strongest defense possible.
Contact our North Carolina law firm for defense to theft crimes
Hatch, Little & Bunn, LLP provides comprehensive legal services to individuals facing theft charges in Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, Research Triangle Park, Wake County and throughout North Carolina. Our attorneys are licensed to practice before all North Carolina state and federal courts. Call 919-670-1411 or contact us online to schedule your consultation at our Raleigh office.