Larceny in South Carolina – Theft is one of the most common crimes. The term theft, however, is not typically the name of a crime itself; rather, it is included in the description of several crimes. There are categories of theft crimes, including fraud, obtaining property under false pretenses, and larceny. Larceny is probably the most common theft crime and has the simplest elements.
In this blog, we will discuss larceny in South Carolina, the elements to that crime, and how it is punished. Like all our blogs, this is intended for general informational purposes only and not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.
Elements of larceny in South Carolina
Larceny falls under South Carolina General Statute 16-13-30(A). In general, larceny is described as the unlawful taking of the property of another person with the intent to permanently deprive them of that property. It really is as simple as stealing from someone.
Categories of larceny crimes in South Carolina
In South Carolina, the two main categories of larceny are petit larceny and grand larceny.
- Petit larceny is charged when the defendant is accused of the theft of property or services with a value of less than $2,000. Petit larceny is a misdemeanor.
- Grand larceny is charged when the defendant is accused of the theft of property or services with a value of more than $2,000. Grand larceny is a felony.
Defending a charge of larceny
Like all crimes in South Carolina courts, it is up to the state to prove every element of the crime against you beyond a reasonable doubt. One option your criminal defense attorney has is to challenge one of the elements of the crime or bring question to one or more of the following:
- Whether or not the “victim” had a possessory interest in the property in question;
- Whether or not the defendant did in fact intend to permanently deprive the owner of that possessory interest; and
- Whether or not there was a question of consent or any other reason why the taking could possibly not have been unlawful.
Punishment for larceny in South Carolina
The severity of the consequences for a conviction of larceny in South Carolina is mainly determined by the value of the property or service stolen.
- A conviction of petit larceny (under $2,000 of value) is punishable by a fine of no more than $1,000 or a jail sentence for no more than 30 days.
- A conviction of grand larceny where the value is between $2,000 and $10,000 is punishable by a fine up to the discretion of the court or imprisonment of no more than 5 years.
- A conviction of grand larceny where the value is over $10,000 is punishable by a fine up to the discretion of the court or imprisonment for no more than 10 years.
If you have been charged with larceny or any other crime in South Carolina, contact us.