Myrtle Beach Theft Lawyer

Theft is a property crime referred to by the state as larceny. According to state law, theft refers to the unlawful taking of someone else’s property or services with the intent to deprive the owner of that property or services permanently. There are various levels of larceny, and the monetary value of the goods or services usually dictates the degree of the crime and the severity of the charges.

If you are charged with larceny, you could be facing significant penalties. The crimes may come with fines and potential incarceration. In addition, they can have an impact that goes well beyond the criminal justice system. Larceny charges, especially felonies, can result in job loss and impact future employment. A Myrtle Beach theft lawyer could help navigate the charges and negotiate the best potential outcome. Our criminal defense attorneys are ready to prepare your defense.

Degrees of Larceny

There are two main degrees of larceny: petit and grand. Petit refers to small thefts, where the value of the stolen goods is $2,000 or less and is a misdemeanor. The potential sentence for a first offense is a fine of up to $1,000 and a sentence of up to 30 days in jail. While the potential criminal penalties are minor, especially for a first offense, the civil penalties can be significant. Being convicted of a theft-related crime could have an enormous effect on obtaining employment.

Grand larceny involves thefts where the value is $2,000 or more. The state recognizes two categories of grand larceny. The first is for property or services between $2,001 and $10,000 in value. This is a felony, with a sentence of up to five years. The court also has discretion to set fines for the defendant. The next is for thefts of property or services worth more than $10,000. The court has the discretion to determine fines for this offense, as well, but the potential prison sentence is 10 years in prison.

Shoplifting is one of the more common theft charges. It involves taking items from a store without paying the total value of the item. Someone can shoplift by taking an item and hiding it on their person. Switching price tags is also a form of shoplifting. A first offense is a misdemeanor, which is tried in a municipal court or magistrates court. The fine is up to $1,000 with a potential penalty of 30 days in jail as long as the value of the merchandise is $2,000 or less.

Since the potential penalty escalates with the value of the stolen items, one of the things a theft lawyer in Myrtle Beach might do is challenge the state’s valuation of the items. It can make a tremendous difference in a person’s potential sentence.

Ways to Steal

When people think of theft, they picture someone lifting an item from another person. However, it is possible to steal from someone without physically taking property from them. Forgery or counterfeiting is a type of theft, and the punishment for it depends on the dollar value of the forged items.

Embezzlement or misappropriation of funds is another type of theft. Whether the victim is a public or private organization matters as embezzling from a public organization is a felony offense.

People can also steal through fraud. The state recognizes swindling, cheating, and using false pretenses as foundations for theft charges. A Myrtle Beach attorney will look at the specific theft charge to understand the state’s theory of the crime. The specific statute the state uses to charge a defendant is essential — it dictates what elements the state must prove.

Consult a Myrtle Beach Theft Attorney Today

Being charged with larceny or other types of theft can have serious consequences. In addition to criminal charges, it can impact employability and ruin your reputation. For students, a conviction for theft could even affect their education. It is essential to challenge these charges. A Myrtle Beach theft lawyer may be able to help negotiate a favorable plea bargain, get charges dismissed, or get a not-guilty verdict at trial. The proper strategy depends on the charges, the facts, and your criminal history. Schedule a free case evaluation with a Price Benowitz attorney to learn more.

Myrtle Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer