The story is almost always the same, someone charged with shoplifting in North Carolina or any other type of concealment larceny from retail stores normally take something they want, but don't need. In many instances, they have the means to purchase what it they are taking, but decide to take it anyways. As a Raleigh Criminal Lawyer and Durham Criminal Attorney, I've had my fair share of clients facing these types of charges. More specifically, as a volunteer with the Capital Area Teen Court Program, the majority of cases which come through this program involve Juvenile offenders which were caught taking something from stores like Walmart, Target, Grocery Stores or Clothing Stores. The charges can take different shapes: Shoplifting, Concealment of Goods or Larceny, but the facts are always the same. With this type of crime being so prevalent, I thought an article discussing Shoplifting crimes would be a good idea.
First, what many don't seem to grasp is, the charge of Larceny or Shoplifting or Concealment of Goods is no different as far as sentencing and the Defendant's record goes as certain minor drug offenses or other minor Misdemeanors. People seem to believe this isn't really as bad as 'real' crimes. The fact is, they still carry with them sentences like other Misdemeanors and will be recorded as a Misdemeanor conviction should the defendant plead guilty or is found guilty.
Second, many people committing these types of crimes seem to believe they won't get caught. The fact of the matter is, in this day and age, audio and visual surveillance is becoming cheaper and easier for these stores to install. They invest in this technology to catch people in order to avoid the cost associated with the loss of their product. This loss is important to them and they take these matters seriously. Many times my client has hoped that the store wouldn't send someone to court to testify against them, but in most cases, they show up.
Lastly, those who commit these crimes think it is a victimless crime; that's just not true. The stores that suffer these losses are not going to simply eat the loss. In reality, the cover the cost be raising the prices of their goods to compensate for the loss. Now the price of this crime is passed onto the average consumer. It's not just the store who incurs these costs, it's everyone.
If you are facing some type of Larceny charge in North Carolina, speak with a local Criminal defense attorney about your case.
Disclaimer - Information and advice offered in this article is for informational and educational purposes only and is specific to North Carolina law. The viewing, receipt and/or exchange of information from this article does not constitute an Attorney-Client Relationship. For assistance regarding your particular legal question speak with an Attorney practicing in the field from which your questions derives.