Under N.C.G.S. 14-72, a larceny charge qualifies as a felony if the stolen goods have a value of $1,000 or more. If the value is under $1,000, the larceny will be charged as a misdemeanor.
Often, if you are charged with larceny from a retail store, you were stopped by a loss prevention officer rather than a police officer. This is perfectly legal for them to stop you, but only if they have probable cause to do so (unlike many other states which only require reasonable suspicion). If you are stopped, anything you say to the loss prevention officer could be used against you, just like when you talk to a law enforcement officer. If you are not sure if whether the person who stopped you is a law enforcement officer sanctioned by the State of North Carolina, ask them, and additionally ask for your attorney.
Some officers will tell you that if you just admit to theft it will be easier on you. This is not true. Do not make any admissions of guilt. Be polite and cooperative, but do not tell them anything besides your name. They will request your identification, which they have the right to do. If you receive a citation for shoplifting, larceny, or concealing merchandise, contact an attorney immediately while everything is still fresh in your mind. The criminal defense attorneys at Guirguis Law are experienced with handling larceny cases and know what questions to ask in attempt to mitigate your charges.
If you are under 18 years old, the officer must make a reasonable attempt to contact your legal guardians. Do not try to talk your way out of anything without your parents — loss prevention officers monitor stores and stop people for a living, and they know how to get information out of suspects.
If you have received a larceny or shoplifting citation in Raleigh or Durham, contact Guirguis Law at (919) 832-0500 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation on your charge and how we can help you.