How Shoplifting vs Concealing are treated under North Carolina Law
While stealing is a crime, there are differences you need to know
What’s The Difference in Shoplifting vs Concealing?
In North Carolina, shoplifting and concealing merchandise are two distinct offenses with varying legal consequences. Understanding the differences between these offenses is crucial to navigate the legal landscape effectively. At the Law Office of Delton Barnes, our aim is to shed light on the differences of shoplifting and concealing in North Carolina, as defined by the North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS).
Shoplifting in North Carolina
Shoplifting is the larceny of goods from a retail establishment. Under North Carolina General Statutes, shoplifting is a crime, classified into four levels based on the value of the merchandise involved:
- Misdemeanor Larceny: Shoplifting goods valued at less than $1,000. This offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor and can result in fines, probation, or a maximum of 120 days in jail.
- Felony Shoplifting: Stealing goods valued at $1,000 or more. This offense is a Class H felony and carries more severe penalties, including potential imprisonment.
- Organized Retail Theft: Engaging in shoplifting as part of an organized group or syndicate is a serious offense. Punishments for organized retail theft depend on the value of the stolen goods and can range from a Class H felony to a Class C felony.
Concealing Merchandise in North Carolina
While shoplifting involves the intentional concealment of merchandise, concealing merchandise is a separate offense in North Carolina. NCGS 14-72.1 defines concealing merchandise as hiding or concealing merchandise while still on the premises of the retail establishment without previously purchasing it.
Unlike shoplifting, concealing merchandise does not require the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the item. This offense ranges from a Class 3 to Class 1 misdemeanor depending upon your criminal history. These are punishable by fines, probation, and jail time. Although the penalties can be less severe than shoplifting, concealing merchandise is still a criminal offense that can have serious consequences.
Need help – schedule a consultation
Understanding the differences between shoplifting and concealing merchandise in North Carolina is essential to comprehend the legal implications associated with each offense. Shoplifting involves willfully concealing merchandise with the intent to deprive the owner permanently while concealing merchandise refers to hiding or keeping merchandise with the intent to deprive the owner temporarily. Both offenses carry legal consequences that can vary based on the value of the stolen goods, with shoplifting often resulting in more severe penalties.
If you’re facing charges related to shoplifting or concealing merchandise in North Carolina, it’s crucial to seek legal counsel promptly. The Law Office of Delton W. Barnes is dedicated to providing expert legal advice and representation to individuals needing a Criminal Defense Attorney in Shelby, Lincolnton, or Gastonia.
If you would like to discuss this issue confidentially, please fill out the form below or call my office to schedule a consultation and ensure your rights are protected.