Columbia Theft Lawyer

Theft offenses in South Carolina are generally referred to as larceny and can have serious consequences, if convicted, such as time in prison, paying fines, and being subjected to long periods of probation which can significantly affect your freedom.

If you have been charged with a theft offense, contact a knowledgeable Columbia theft lawyer to evaluate your situation, review the charges against you, and determine what legal defenses are available to you.

Depending on the facts and circumstances of the situation, those charges could be mitigated in a plea bargain – if not dismissed altogether by an experienced defense attorney.

Theft Offenses Considered Larceny

According to SC Code Sec. 16-13-10, et. seq., South Carolina defines larceny as the unlawful taking of property (or services) belonging to someone else with the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property.

While some SC larceny statutes address specific types of property, in most cases larceny falls into one of two categories – the offenses of which are classified by the value of what was taken:

  1. Petit larceny. South Carolina petit larceny is considered the lowest level of larceny and commonly referred to a “petty theft.” It applies to situations in which the value of property or services stolen valued $2,000 or less. Petit larceny is considered a misdemeanor and can result in paying fines of up to $1,000 and spending up to 30 days in prison making it important that a Columbia theft attorney is contacted.
  2. Grand larceny. South Carolina grand larceny is also referred to as South Carolina grand theft. Essentially, this category applies to situations which are more serious than petit larceny and are separated into two, distinct classifications:
  • Taking property or services valued between $2,000 and $10,000. This is considered a felony and can result in paying fines that are determined at the discretion of the court and spending up to five (5) years in prison.
  • Taking property or services valued at $10,000 or more. This is also considered a felony and can result in paying fines that are determined at the discretion of the court and spending up to ten (10) years in prison.

Civil Charges Regarding Theft

It is important to keep in mind that even though someone charged with larceny may face criminal charges. A victim is not supposed to be able to recover twice; for example, restitution ordered by a judge and filing a lawsuit. Civil charges by store and company owners that might include:

  • The retail price of the merchandise (up $1,500), if those goods are not recovered in a sellable condition, and
  • An extra penalty of three times the retail price of the merchandise (up to $500).

Liability in Theft Cases

A minor’s parents or legal guardians could possibly be held civilly liable for what their children have taken from the victim. The state imposes harsh penalties on theft crimes – especially for those who have previous misdemeanor or felony convictions for any crime.

However, regardless of the type of larceny someone is facing, it is critical to remember that there may be numerous legal defenses at their disposal – and that is where a Columbia theft attorneycan help most.

Talk to a Columbia Theft Attorney Today

If you are facing a larceny charge in South Carolina, make sure to evaluate every legal defense, option, and resource available to you by contacting an experienced Columbia theft lawyer to review your situation and advise you of all your legal options going forward. Do not try to fight theft charges without counsel. Contact us to get started.