Although many members of the general public in North Carolina and elsewhere might feel comfortable to collectively lump together all forms of illicit property taking as "stealing," that is a term that is often regarded as being somewhat generic under federal and state laws.
As such, it can undergo much tweaking and modification in a manner that can understandably confuse individuals outside the legal profession who don't routinely focus upon theft-related crimes and nomenclature.
Here's a central bottom line linked with theft crimes in North Carolina and other states that emerges with crystal clarity, though, regardless of how a particular offense is termed: the consequences can be dire.
Many theft crimes, such as financial transaction card fraud, embezzlement, larceny (including the criminal charge of larceny by employee), shoplifting and additional offenses, are intimately tied to the dual notions of taking and intent.
In the first instance, for example, a theft prosecution must establish that a criminal suspect actually took -- that is, removed -- property belonging to another individual without the latter's permission.
And proof of that alone doesn't necessarily establish that such taking away of property constituted a theft crime. Conscious intent to deprive a rightful owner of property is a key hurdle of proof that a prosecutor must clear when seeking to secure a theft-related criminal prosecution.
Considerations surrounding a theft accusation and criminal probe can be complex, indeed, with much that might seem initially clear actually being far from well established.
An experienced criminal offense attorney may find one or more material weaknesses in theft charges against a client. We will take a look in our next blog post at some of the things that an experienced lawyer might reasonably focus upon in pursuing the defense of a person being investigated for, or already charged with, a theft offense.