North Carolina Possession of Stolen Property Defense

Aggressive Theft Crimes Defense Attorney Serving Jacksonville, Wilmington, and Surrounding Areas.

There are a number of different theft crimes out there. The more obvious crimes include shoplifting, armed robbery, and auto theft, for example, but did you know that being found in possession of stolen goods is also grounds for a theft charge in North Carolina? Even if the person who actually stole the items has not yet been caught, whoever is found in actual possession of the stolen goods can be met with a criminal charge and potentially harsh penalties.

If you have been found possessing stolen goods or have been charged for any other theft or property crimes in North Carolina, it is critical that you obtain the help of an experienced Jacksonville theft defense attorney like Aden Wilkie. Attorney Aden Wilkie of the Wilkie Law Firm has years of experience handling North Carolina larceny charges and knows what it takes to provide his clients with the best legal defense possible. He will do everything in his power to ensure your rights remain protected throughout the progression of your case while aggressively working towards the most favorable outcome.

For a free consultation with a skilled possession of stolen goods defense attorney in Jacksonville, NC, call (910) 333-9626 today.

What is Possession of Stolen Property in North Carolina?

According to North Carolina larceny laws, the possession of stolen goods (or stolen property) is a theft crime that occurs when a person is found in possession of property that was taken feloniously, knowing or otherwise having reasonable grounds to believe that the items were stolen with a dishonest purpose. Like with most theft crimes, a “dishonest purpose” means that the property, whether it be one or multiple items, was stolen without consent and with the intention to permanently deprive the rightful owner of the property.

Misdemeanor Larceny NC

The possession of stolen goods follows the state’s general larceny laws found in the North Carolina General Statute. As such, the misdemeanor possession of stolen goods occurs when the property or services that were stolen are valued at $1,000 or less. Under NC Criminal Law § 14-72(a), this crime is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Felony Larceny NC

Felony larceny crimes refer to the unlawful taking of property or services that are valued at more than $1,000 OR if the property:

  • Was taken directly from the person of another;
  • Was taken in an act of burglary/breaking and entering;
  • Is a firearm, explosive device, or any record formerly in the custody of the North Carolina State Archives.

If any of these factors apply, the crime will be charged as a Class H felony and result in potential fines and/or prison time. 

possession of stolen goods defense nc

What Does Receiving Stolen Property Mean?

Receiving stolen goods differs only slightly from the possession of stolen goods. The main difference is that for the crime of receiving stolen goods, it must be proven that another person actually stole the property in question, while for a possession of stolen goods charge, this element is not necessary. 

Listed below are all the elements that must be proven for each of these crimes:

Receiving Stolen Goods

  1. The items were stolen by another person.
  2. The defendant received and/or concealed the stolen items.
  3. When the defendant received and/or concealed the stolen items, they either knew or had reasonable grounds to believe that items were stolen.
  4. The items were received and/or concealed with a dishonest purpose.

Stolen Goods Possession

  1. The items were stolen.
  2. The defendant was in possession of the stolen items.
  3. The defendant knew or reasonably should have known that the items were stolen while they were in their possession.
  4. The items were possessed with a dishonest purpose. 

Is Receiving Stolen Property a Felony?

A charge for receiving stolen property in North Carolina depends on the value of the property obtained as well as the possibility of any prior convictions. As a result, a person who receives stolen property that is valued at $1,000 or less will typically receive a Class 1 misdemeanor charge, while a person who receives stolen property valued at over $1,000 will typically receive a Class H felony charge.

Penalties for Possession of Stolen Goods in North Carolina

The penalties for any type of larceny committed in North Carolina rely on a few factors, namely the value of the property stolen and whether the defendant has any prior convictions. If a person is found guilty of misdemeanor possession of stolen goods in North Carolina with no prior convictions, he or she faces a maximum penalty of 45 days of community punishment. If the defendant does have one or more prior convictions, they may face anywhere between 1 to 120 days in jail. 

Someone charged with the felony possession of stolen goods in North Carolina is guilty of a Class H felony and may face a maximum punishment of 25 months behind bars. There is a possibility that those with no prior convictions may carry out their punishment via community service, but it is ultimately up to the judge whether to impose jail time or not.

How To Beat a Possession of Stolen Property Charge

If you have been charged with either the misdemeanor or felony possession of stolen goods, it is important you obtain the help of an experienced North Carolina criminal lawyer right away. A critical element in these cases is that defendant possessed the stolen items knowingly. If the facts of the case are based on circumstantial evidence alone, your criminal defense attorney can challenge this and make it difficult for prosecutors to prove actual or constructive possession beyond a reasonable doubt. 

The legal counsel of a knowledgeable theft crime defense lawyer like Aden Wilkie is the best way to beat a larceny charge. Once a formal attorney-client relationship is established, he can help you navigate the complexities of the North Carolina justice system while actively protecting your rights and working to secure your freedom.   

Call Aden Wilkie of Wilkie Law Firm for Top Jacksonville Theft Defense

At The Wilkie Law Firm, we proudly serve clients in Jacksonville, NC and the surrounding areas. We are passionate about providing the best possible criminal defense and protecting our clients’ futures in every case we take on. To speak will a skilled Jacksonville criminal defense attorney today, call Aden Wilkie at 910-333-9626 to request a free consultation to learn more about how he can assist you in defending against your theft charges or convictions.