Shoplifting in North Carolina

by | Feb 7, 2020 | Blog Posts, NC Criminal Defense | 0 comments

Shoplifting in North Carolina – There are a wide variety of theft crimes in most jurisdictions. In that regard, North Carolina is no different. One such crime is shoplifting, but the interesting thing is, it is not as simple as one would think. There are a wide variety of shoplifting crimes and there are a wide range of punishments for those crimes.

In this blog, we will talk about various shoplifting charges. 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.

Types of shoplifting:

Shoplifting by concealment of goods

  • Anyone who willfully conceals goods or merchandise of a store without authority, without purchasing those goods, while being in the store, can be found guilty of this crime. This crime does not require the intent to deprive the owner of the merchandise nor does it require exiting the store.
  • The first conviction of this crime is punished as a Class 3 misdemeanor and follows the North Carolina misdemeanor sentencing guidelines. One subsequent conviction of this crime during the subsequent 3 years would result in punishment as a Class 2 misdemeanor. Further, a third or subsequent offense within 5 years of the previous convictions, would result in punishment as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • In addition to the typical provisions of the sentencing guidelines, there are additional requirements of either jail time or community service for the first or second conviction, and a mandatory jail sentence of at least 11 days of jail time for the third or subsequent conviction.

Shoplifting by substituting prices

  • Anyone who willfully transfers prices from goods or merchandise to other goods or merchandise and marks the merchandise at a lower price or places false price tags on merchandise without authority and presents them for purchase can be found guilty of this crime.
  • The first conviction of this crime is punished as a Class 3 misdemeanor and follows the North Carolina misdemeanor sentencing guidelines. One subsequent conviction of this crime during the subsequent 3 years would result in punishment as a Class 2 misdemeanor. Further, a third or subsequent offense within 5 years of the previous convictions would result in punishment as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
  • In addition to the typical provisions of the sentencing guidelines, there are additional requirements of either jail time or community service for the first or second conviction, and a mandatory jail sentence of at least 11 days of jail time for the third or subsequent conviction.

Shoplifting by concealing merchandise using a lead or aluminum lined bag

  • Anyone who willfully conceals merchandise from a store without authority, without having purchased them, while still on the premises of the store and uses an aluminum or lead lined bag, article of clothing, or similar device to prevent the activation of any anti-shoplifting or inventory control device can be found guilty of this crime.
  • This crime is punished as a Class H felony and follows the North Carolina felony sentencing guidelines.

All these crimes fall under North Carolina General Statute 14-72.1 and will subject anyone convicted of them to a criminal record. At first glance shoplifting does not sound that serious, but like any other crime, if you are charged with it, you should hire a lawyer.

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