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Theft and Property Crimes

North Carolina has several laws that are designed to protect personal property and belongings from theft and damage. The state has a wide range of criminal statutes that prohibit depriving another person of or damaging their land or belongings.

A conviction for theft or any of the property crimes can have serious consequences. The penalties could include prison, probation, steep fines or combination of all three. A criminal record could also have a lasting effect on your personal life. A conviction could make you seem like an untrustworthy person, and it could affect your ability to get a job.

If you are facing criminal charges, you need to understand your rights and options. Contact a criminal defense attorney for help in making the best choices for your case. Do not let a criminal conviction haunt you.

Raleigh Theft and Property Crimes Defense Attorney

If you face charges for theft, burglary or criminal trespass, contact a skilled and experienced Raleigh theft and property crimes defense attorney at Coolidge Law Firm. The attorneys at Coolidge Law Firm will seek to have your charges reduced or dismissed, and will passionately fight for your rights, no matter what the charge.

The attorneys will investigate your case and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecutor’s case against you. Call (919) 239-8448 to schedule a free case evaluation. Coolidge Law Firm represents clients throughout Wake County, including Raleigh, Cary, Morrisville, Wake Forest, Apex, Fuquay-Varina, Knightdale and Zebulon.


Information on Crimes Involving Property


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Charges for Theft in Wake County

The laws of North Carolina contain several different types of felony and misdemeanor crimes that constitute theft or property offenses. The class of the offense often is determined by the value of the property involved, whether a firearm or violent threat was used and if the offender had prior theft or property convictions.

According to N.C.G.S. § 14-72, larceny of goods valued at more than $1,000 is a Class H felony. Larceny of goods less than $1,000 is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor.

In some instances, larceny is a felony no matter the value of the stolen property. For example, if a person steals from another using any sort of explosive device or firearm as a weapon or if the defendant steals from their employer, the larceny could automatically be considered a felony.

Also, stealing certain items could affect the classification of the crime, no matter the value. For example, the stealing of pine needles or pine straw automatically is a Class H felony, as is the which NC law classifies as a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Organized retail theft is a Class H felony. N.C.G.S. § 14-86.6 defines organized retail theft as two or more people who conspire to steal from retail establishments with a value exceeding $1,500 aggregated over a 90-day period with the intent to sell that property.

The crime of possessing stolen goods knowingly or having reasonable grounds to believe the goods to be stolen is a felony, without regard to the value of the property in question, according to N.C.G.S. § 14-72. The law classifies this as a Class H felony.


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Property Crimes Under North Carolina Law

Robbery means taking or attempting to take personal property from another or any form of business, residence or banking institution. In North Carolina it is a Class G felony, under N.C.G.S. § 14-87.1. The charge can be upgraded in instances where a firearm or other weapon is used or if there is a threat to use a weapon. The charge then would be considered a Class D felony.

Burglary, which means entering or remaining in a building without consent with the intent to commit a crime, is divided into two separate degrees.  If the building was unoccupied at the time of the offense, it is a second-degree offense. If occupied, the offense is a first-degree burglary.

Burglary in the first degree shall be punishable as a Class D felony, and burglary in the second degree shall be punishable as a Class G felony. Any burglary where an explosive device was used would be classified as a Class D felony.

Breaking and entering is considered breaking into any building, dwelling or place of worship.   Any person who wrongfully breaks or enters any building is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. Breaking into a building to commit a felony or larceny is considered a Class H felony, as is breaking into a property to terrorize or injure an occupant.

Criminal Trespass, according to North Carolina law, is entering a building or dwelling after being forbidden to do so. This is considered a first-degree trespass and is a Class 2 misdemeanor. Remaining on property after being ordered to leave by the lawful occupant could be considered a second-degree trespass, which is a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Arson, the deliberate burning of a building or structure, is divided into two degrees. If the dwelling burned was occupied at the time of the burning, the offense is arson in the first degree and is punishable as a Class D felony.  If the dwelling burned was unoccupied at the time of the burning, the offense is arson in the second degree and is punishable as a Class G felony. 


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Penalties for Theft and Property Crime Convictions in Raleigh

If convicted of a theft or property crime, the penalties will depend on the charge. North Carolina uses structured sentencing guidelines to assess punishment for those convicted of these crimes. 

The structured sentencing guidelines consider several factors including:

  1. the class of felony or misdemeanor;
  2. the criminal record for the person facing charges; and
  3. aggravating or mitigating factors.

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Finding the Best Theft and Property Crime Defense Lawyer in Wake County

Charges for theft and property crimes are serious and complex matters, but experienced legal counsel can help. If you have been arrested for theft, burglary or possessing stolen goods, contact a Raleigh theft and property crimes defense lawyer at Coolidge Law Firm. Call (919) 239-8448 to schedule a free case evaluation.

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David Coolidge
David A. Coolidge
is heading up our team as criminal defense attorney and graduate at the top of his class from Duke University School of Law ...
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Steven MacGilvray
Steven P. MacGilvray
Steven P. MacGilvray is an Associate Attorney at Coolidge Law Firm, focusing primarily on Criminal Defense. Mr. MacGilvray graduated from Regent University School of Law ...
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Brent Blakesley
Brent Blakesley
manages the daily operations at Coolidge Law Firm. Brent graduated from Duke University in 2008 with a BA in Computer Science, BA in Linguistics ...
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