Theft / White Collar Crime - North Carolina State Criminal Law Offenses FAQ
What is Financial Transaction Card Fraud or Theft?
This broad category of Felony can include:
- taking, withholding or obtaining a card from another without their consent and with the intention of using it
- receiving a card without the owner’s consent and with the intention to use it, sell it or transfer it to another
- receiving a card that has been lost, mislaid or mistakenly delivered and the retaining it with the intention of selling it, using it or transferring it
- receiving two cards in a 12 month period issued in different names
- produces or uses a false credit card
- alters encoded information on a card or uses a card that has been so altered
- forges the signature on the card of the authorized card owner
- uses a card that has been obtained by fraudulent application
- falsely represents themselves as the holder of the card
What are Larceny by Employee and Embezzlement?
Larceny by Employee is a Felony that occurs when an employee over the age of 16 takes something of value that was given to them for the benefit of their employer with the intent to steal it for themselves.
Embezzlement is a Felony that occurs when uses another’s property that was held by the defendant by reason of their position of trust.
What is Unlawful Concealment, also known as Shoplifting?
This crime occurs when the client intentionally conceals merchandise without permission and without having first paid for it, while still on the store premises.
What is Larceny?
It is the taking of the property of another entity (person or corporation), without their consent and with the intent to permanently deprive them of it.
How does Larceny become a Felony?
If, for example, it is from the person of another, involves a firearm, involves something with a value exceeding $1000.
What are the consequences for these crimes to my freedom and my reputation?
Each of these offenses can hold severe consequences.
Possible jail or prison time can be a consequence of a conviction.
Defendants can also be subjected to probation supervision where they must report to a probation officer on a monthly (if not more frequent) basis, be subjected to curfews, drug tests, mandated rehabilitation and counseling, etc.
If convicted of a Felony, the defendant forever loses the right to vote, bear arms and many other valuable rights that are taken away from convicted felons.
Perhaps of greatest consequence, it is well known that "No one trusts a thief." While a drug or alcohol related conviction might be explained away under the right circumstances, few employers or clients will ever want to hire someone who has been convicted of stealing from someone else. Banks may be reluctant to loan, landlords may be reluctant to rent and neighbors and friends may be reluctant to trust someone who has been proven untrustworthy. The defendant’s reputation will be tarnished and there is little chance to change this conviction in the near or even distant future.
What if I am not presently a citizen of the United States?
If the client is an alien and not a United States citizen, they face a risk of deportation as the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) considers even the most minor of these offenses to be a "crime of moral turpitude".
How can a lawyer defend me in these types of cases?
Depending on the offense, a lawyer can advocate that:
- The client has a clean record and a good reputation in the community that would warrant some lenient treatment in their specific case. This lenient treatment may be in the form of a dismissal, reduction in the charges or sentence.
- The value of the property was less than the amount required for a Felony.
- There was no position of trust or other type of relationship which gives rise to the criminal activity.
- The client did not intend to conceal the property.
- The police and prosecutor can not prove that the victim was a "legal entity".
- The police and prosecutor can not prove some other part of the caseThe client was merely in the company of a person who actually committed the crime and it can not be proven that the client was aware of the other’s criminal activity.
- It was an honest mistake because:
- the client thought that they had some right to the property or
- intended to pay for it or
- was acting under some clouded judgment that shows a lack of intent
Each client and each case present unique facts to analyze and opportunities to defend. An experienced criminal defense lawyer is critical to maintaining your good name and record, and your freedom.