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May 29, 2017

Do You Need a Greenville, South Carolina, Criminal Defense Attorney to Fight Larceny Charges?

criminal defense lawyer in Greenville

There are many different crimes that fall under the category of larceny in Greenville, South Carolina. Any form of theft, such as stealing from a person, a business, an employer, or any other entity will result in a larceny charge. It may have been a mistake, an accident, an error, or a misunderstanding. It may be that you made a bad decision and are now facing the consequences. You may have a loved one who is facing such charges, and you may be wondering what to do now that an arrest has been made and charges pressed. The most important thing that you can do is exercise your right to remain silent and avoid saying anything about the incident to the police until you have an attorney. Whether you are the one facing larceny charges or a loved one has been arrested, contact the Greenville, South Carolina, criminal defense attorneys at Lauren Taylor Law to get the best legal representation. Remember that an arrest is not an indication of guilt. There are many possible defenses to a larceny charge.

What You Need to Know About the Different Forms of Larceny Charges in Greenville, SC

The crime of larceny involves a range of different charges and associated consequences. If the theft involved stolen property that was valued at more than$2,000, then the crime is grand larceny, and this is a felony. If the stolen property was valued at more than $10,000 then this is a much more serious felony charge. However, if the value of the stolen property is $2,000 or less, then this is a misdemeanor charge, and the consequences are not going to be as severe. The misdemeanor larceny charge involving items that are less than our equal to $2,000 in value, then this is called petit larceny or petty theft. The consequences for petty theft can involve up 30 days imprisonment and up to $1,000 in fines. The consequences of the felony crime of grand larceny can involve up to ten years imprisonment and fines as high as the court deems appropriate for the given case.

Some forms of theft that could fall into either category include theft of personal property from someone’s home or vehicle, theft from your employer, and shoplifting. It all depends on the value of what was stolen in any case. Crimes that involve the theft of a vehicle, a boat, expensive jewelry, or another high cost item are likely to fall into one of the two categories of grand larceny.

Some Larceny Charges Involve Simple Misunderstandings or Malicious Accusers

There are cases where larceny charges result from a misunderstanding. For example, you may have borrowed a vehicle, believing that you had permission, when you did not. Maybe you intended to purchase something that was on the bottom of your grocery cart, but missed it when you went through checkout. In these cases, it could be something as inexpensive as case of soda, or it might be something more costly like an expensive toy or electronics. Even though it was an honest mistake, the more expensive mistake could get you into a lot of trouble. Then, there are cases where the accuser set you up. This may sound like an unlikely scenario, but it happens more often than you think. Maybe when you borrowed someone’s car, the person only allowed you to do so for the purpose of accusing you of theft. Maybe you were with someone who told you that they had permission to borrow the vehicle, misleading you into stealing it. Another all too common scenario is one in which you are in a store with a friend who turns out to be untrustworthy. The friend wants to shoplift, but doesn’t want to get caught, so they slip something into your bag instead of their own. While an arrest does not mean that you are guilty, such allegations can be extremely challenging to fight. This is because even though these scenarios are more common than many would imagine, they are also quite frequently used as excuses when someone is guilty and hopes to convince the courts that they are not.

There are Many Actions that Constitute Shoplifting in Greenville

We need to take a moment to focus on the crime of shoplifting in Greenville, South Carolina, since there are many actions that fall into this category of theft. These too can arise from misunderstandings, honest mistakes, and being set up by others. Naturally, taking an item from a store without paying for it is a form of shoplifting, but it is not the only one. If you alter a price tag or switch price tags, then this is shoplifting. If you remove a price tag or put an item into a different container to hide it or alter the price, then this is also shoplifting. If you grab an edible or drinkable item from the store, consume it while shopping, then fail to pay for it, then this is also shoplifting. Now, it could be that someone else altered the price tag without your knowledge. It could also be that someone else put an item inside of another item or package without your knowledge. It may even be that you were shopping with a child who consumed a product without your knowledge. In any event, you need an attorney to fight the charges and/or minimize the impact of any conviction that may follow.

You May Also Face Civil Litigation After a Larceny Crime in Greenville, SC

When you are facing criminal charges for larceny in Greenville, South Carolina, you should also be aware of the fact that you may face civil litigation. This means that the victim of the crime can take you to court to sue you for the value of the stolen item, up to $1,500. However, if the item was returned in good and/or sellable condition, then you may be able to avoid this outcome. In cases where the theft was carried out by a child, the parents can be held legally and financially responsible for the theft. In cases where a vehicle was used in the crime, that vehicle can be confiscated by the police. To learn more about larceny charges and how to get those charges dropped or reduced, contact Lauren Taylor Law to speak to an experienced Greenville, South Carolina, criminal defense attorney.