Greenville, South Carolina Theft Lawyer
Theft cases of all kinds can come with serious penalties in South Carolina. Someone charged with theft can face possible consequences such as fines, prison, and a permanently tainted criminal record. If you are facing any kind of theft crime, even if it’s petty theft, you need knowledgeable representation from AnneMarie Odom Law. Our firm is proud to provide the best criminal defense strategy in Greenville and the surrounding counties. Call AnneMarie Odom today at 864-775-5833 for a consultation.
Types of Theft Crimes
Every theft crime in South Carolina falls under the legal statute of larceny. Courts have broadly defined larceny as stealing another person’s property in order to permanently deprive the owner of that property or item. Theft charges and penalties in South Carolina generally depend on the property value of the stolen item.
Petit Theft or Petty Theft in South Carolina
Petty larceny means that someone illegally stole items or property that’s worth $2,000 or less. This is a misdemeanor charge which could result in a penalty of 30 days of jail time, and/or a $1,000 fine.
Grand Larceny in South Carolina
Grand larceny, or grand theft, means that the items or property stolen was worth upwards of $2,000. Because the stolen property is of a higher value, this conviction would result in harsher penalties. If the stolen property is worth less than $10,000, a conviction results in a class F felony charge, up to 5 years in prison, and a possible fine at the court’s discretion. If the stolen property was worth more than $10,000, the defendant faces a class E felony charge, up to 10 years in prison, and a possible fine at the court’s discretion. (S.C. Code § 16-13-30).
Shoplifting in South Carolina
A person may face a shoplifting conviction in South Carolina if they:
- Steal, move, or hide retail store items
- Change, move, or remove price tags in a store
- Switch an item’s packaging or container with another item in the store
Similar to larceny, the penalties for shoplifting depend on the value of the stolen items. If the value of the stolen merchandise is less than $2,000, the crime is a misdemeanor, and punishable by up to 30 days in prison or a maximum fine of $1,000. If the value of the stolen items is between $2,000- $10,000, the crime becomes a felony and is punishable by up to 5 years in prison or a maximum fine of $1,000. If the value of the stolen items exceeds $10,000, the crime is a felony and punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Not only can suspects face criminal penalties for shoplifting, but they can face civil penalties too. This means that the shoplifter can be held civilly liable to the store owner from which they stole.
Obtaining Property Under False Pretenses
In South Carolina, it is illegal to obtain property under false pretenses. This is usually done through lies and misrepresentations.
If the stolen property is valued at $2,000 or less, the suspect may face a misdemeanor charge, 30 days behind bars, and a $1,000 fine. If a suspect is found guilty of obtaining property under false pretenses valued between $2,000 and $10,000, then they will likely face 5 years behind bars. The charge of obtaining property under false pretenses in which the property is valued over $10,000 carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.
Robbery or Armed Robbery
In South Carolina, it is a crime to commit robbery, armed robbery, or attempted robbery. Robbery is defined as stealing someone else’s property or items by using force or threat of force. Armed robbery entails the same thing, but also involves a gun or another dangerous weapon. It’s also illegal to steal items or property with a fake gun or weapon, as long as the robbery victim(s) reasonably believe the weapon to be real and a threat to their safety. A robbery conviction in South Carolina may result in up to 15 years in prison. Meanwhile, the penalty for armed robbery may be anywhere from 10 to 30 years behind bars.
Burglary in South Carolina is generally defined as an individual entering a building without consent and with the intent to commit some crime once inside. South Carolina burglary charges are split up into 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree charges.
- A 1st Degree burglary charge is a felony punishable by life in prison, and not less than 15 years.
A 1st-degree burglary charge occurs when an individual enters a dwelling (home), and must meet one of the following criteria:
- When an individual is armed with, displays, uses, or threatens the use of a deadly weapon
- When an individual has a prior record of two or more burglary/housebreaking charges
- The entering occurs at night
- A 2nd Degree burglary charge is divided into two categories: violent and non-violent. A violent 2nd-degree charge has the same criteria as a 1st-degree burglary charge except it applies to individuals who entered a building, not a dwelling. This carries a maximum sentence of 15 years. Non-violent 2nd-degree burglary is simply defined as an individual entering a dwelling without consent and with the intent to commit a crime therein and is punishable by up to 10 years.
- A 3rd Degree burglary charge occurs when an individual enters a building without consent and with intent to commit a crime inside. This carries a maximum sentence of 5 years.
Embezzlement is a white-collar crime that occurs when an employee steals or misappropriates money or property. Embezzlement can happen on the job in many different ways, including:
- Raising product prices just to keep the excess money
- Taking money out of a cash register
- Transferring work checks into a personal bank account
- Stealing business products or office supplies for personal use
- Modifying the business’ financial accounts in order to hide stolen items or money
- Creating a nonexistent employee on the business’s payroll
- Modifying employee time cards
According to South Carolina law (S.C. Code § 16-13-210), embezzlement is a felony, regardless of the value of assets stolen. If the embezzled funds are worth $10,000+, the maximum prison sentence is 10 years. If the embezzled funds are worth less than $10,000, the maximum prison sentence is 5 years.
Call Top South Carolina Theft Defense Attorney AnneMarie Odom Today
If you’re involved in any South Carolina theft case, you need strong legal representation from Attorney AnneMarie Odom. She always prioritizes every attorney-client relationship while fighting for the best case outcome possible. For more information on how our legal team at AnneMarie Odom Law can provide you with the best defense, call 864-775-5833 as soon as possible.
Our knowledgeable theft crime defense attorneys are ready to assist you in these difficult situations that pose a real threat of jeopardizing your entire future. Call today.
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