Theft charges can mean you are facing some serious consequences a serious crime. If you are facing theft charges in Greenville, SC, you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you. The lowest level charge for theft in South Carolina is petty theft, which might be referred to as petit larceny. It is a misdemeanor involving the theft of services or property valued at $2,000 or less. You can be punished for this offense with imprisonment up to 30 days and a fine not exceeding $1,000. However, the conviction can haunt you the rest of your life.
In South Carolina, theft offenses are classified by the value of the services or property that is taken during the commission of the crime. This classifies the crime as a misdemeanor or as a felony. Shoplifting is classified in a similar manner. Grandy larceny is a felony that falls into two different categories. If you are charged with grand larceny for the theft of services or property valued at more than $2,000 but less than $10,000 you could face up to five years in prison or a fine as determined by the court. For theft of property or services valued at more than $10,000, you could face up to 10 years in prison or a fine at the court’s discretion.
Shoplifters have civil liabilities as well as criminal penalties to face. Anyone convicted of shoplifting in the state will be held civilly liable to the person who owns the merchandise or store owner in an amount that includes the merchandise’s retail price if it is not recovered in a condition to be sold, up to $1,500. An additional penalty that cannot exceed the greater – which is three times the retail value of the merchandise or $150 – up to a maximum amount of $500.
If the shoplifter is a minor and the parent or legal guardian of the child should have known or knew that there was a propensity to steal, the parent or guardian can be held liable for the damages in those same amounts. In addition to the civil penalties faced for theft in South Carolina, an offender who uses a motor vehicle when committing theft or larceny is subjected to having the vehicle forfeited and confiscated during any civil proceedings. The vehicle, however, must be registered to the offender and must have been used while the crime was being committed.
What If I Have Prior South Carolina Theft Convictions?
Prior theft convictions are not specifically covered in the state statutes. However, if you have been convicted of any
crime it is on your record and that is much more likely to lead to harsher penalties when you are sentenced. To understand the impact of prior convictions on your current theft charges in South Carolina, you should consult with an experienced South Carolina theft attorney. Lauren Taylor is an experienced Greenville attorney who practices criminal law. She has helped dozens of clients facing theft charges throughout the years.
Regardless of whether you have been charged with stealing a sweater from a department store, a piece of jewelry from a neighbor’s house, cosmetics from a pharmacy, or stealing a purse from a lady on the street, theft is a serious crime in South Carolina. You need to be familiar with the terms surrounding Greenville theft charges and the penalties that South Carolina laws provide for being convicted of such crimes.
What is Classified as Larceny in South Carolina?
According to state law, larceny is taking property that belongs to someone else unlawfully. It is done with the intent of depriving the person of their property permanently. Basically, larceny is taking something that belongs to someone else. Larceny doesn’t involve force. If force is used, you will most likely be charged with robbery. Larceny is the same as theft. Stealing an animal, such as a dog, can also be considered larceny. There are special rules regarding the theft of animals, however. If you steal an animal such as a dog, you could face up to 6 months in jail and a $500 fine. It would be classified as a misdemeanor.
However, if you steal livestock your consequences will be dependent upon the value of the animal that you have stolen. So, if you steal a valuable bull that is worth more than $2,000, you are facing felony charges. You would face the same penalties as you would for stealing anything else worth over $2,000. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony is dependent upon the classification of the theft that you commit. The value of the item stolen plays a major role in how you are charged for larceny in Greenville, South Carolina.
What are Some Different Larceny Charges in South Carolina?
There are some different kinds of larceny charges in the state as well. As an example, if you enter a building without permission of the owner, you are most likely going to face burglary charges. You could also face a larceny charge, depending on what happens after you get inside the building. Larceny charges will be added to your burglary charges if you took things from the building or used services while inside the building you entered without permission. Also, you can face larceny charges if you used services in the building that are directly related to your crime.
South Carolina law has no specific way to deal with larceny by conversion, but it is when an individual who has lawfully obtained property or funds then converts them to his or her own use in violation of the original agreement or legal obligation. An example of larceny by conversion could be an investment banker who took money a client invested and used it for his or her own benefit.
Larceny and burglary are often used for the same thing, but by South Carolina they are different. Taking someone’s services or property without permission is larceny. If you enter a building without permission and plan to commit a crime inside, you are committing burglary. You don’t have to steal anything to be charged with burglary in South Carolina.
What Should Be My First Step if Facing Greenville Theft Charges?
If you are facing theft charges in Greenville, SC, your first step should be to consult with an experienced theft attorney. Lauren Taylor practices criminal law in Greenville. As an experienced attorney, she has the skills and knowledge to build your defense and aggressively fight for you. Call (864) 326-2888 today for a free consultation.