Theft offenses may seem less serious than inherently violent crimes or homicide. Under certain circumstances, however, they can carry harsh penalties, such as lengthy prison sentences. Individuals charged with a theft offense for the first time could be surprised to learn the potential consequences of a conviction.
If you face a theft charge, you should be aware of the conditions that increase the severity of the penalty and how you could avoid negative consequences for them. One useful way to improve your understanding of these types of offenses and the potential penalty involved is for you to discuss your case with a North Charleston theft lawyer. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney could help you receive the best outcome to your case as possible.
Under Title 16 of the South Carolina Code of Laws the state divides larceny into petit and grand larceny. When the offense involves taking goods, money, property, or another article of value worth up to $2,000, it constitutes petit larceny, which is a misdemeanor. Petit larceny trials take place in magistrates or municipal courts. The felony of grand larceny involves theft of goods, property, or value worth more than $2,000.
A conviction of petit larceny results in a fine of up to $1,000 or 30 days in prison, while a conviction of grand larceny, depending on the value of the property involved, brings a fine in the discretion of the court or up to ten years in prison. A North Charleston larceny legal advisor could discuss ways to seek a reduced charge, a dismissal, or another outcome preferable to a conviction.
Burglary and Robbery in North Charleston
The offense of burglary, under South Carolina Code Title 16, takes place when someone enters the dwelling of another without consent while intending to commit a crime inside. First-degree burglary occurs:
- At night
- Involving a deadly weapon
- When there is a physical injury to a nonparticipant in the offense
- When an apparent knife or firearm is displayed
- If an offender has two or more prior theft convictions
Robbery, under the common law, involves taking someone’s property by using force or threat and, under the South Carolina Code, carries a penalty of up to fifteen years in prison.
Under South Carolina Law, robbery, as well as attempted robbery, carries harsher penalties if the accused offender is armed with a deadly weapon or suggests by speech or action that they have a weapon. A conviction of armed robbery carries a prison sentence of ten to 30 years. A person facing a burglary or robbery charge could consult with a local theft representative about avoiding conviction or receiving a reduced charge.
Find a North Charleston Theft Attorney to Use the Law and the Facts of Your Case to Your Advantage
In a criminal trial, the jury addresses questions of fact, and the judge addresses questions of law. Ideally, if you go to trial, you and your attorney integrate the facts and the law to form a convincing argument. While, most legal cases do not proceed to trial, the state could offer you an alternative to trial that you can live with, allowing you to avoid the risk of placing a decision in the jury’s hands.
Whether you accept a deal is your decision. An experienced North Charleston theft lawyer could provide you with the critical information you need to make the right choices when it matters. Call today to learn more.