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Understanding North Carolina theft charges

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2021 | criminal defense

You could receive either a misdemeanor or felony for theft and related property crimes in North Carolina. The judge will review the type of stolen goods, their value, and whether you used a weapon or harmed anyone during the theft.

If a North Carolina court has charged you with theft, review the crimes in this category and their possible penalties.


This category covers general property theft, charged as a Class H felony for amounts greater than $1,000. You could also receive felony charges for larceny involving breaking and entering (burglary), theft of a firearm, or theft from someone’s pocket, bag or person. These charges also apply to receiving stolen property if a reasonable person would have known the stolen status of the items. A Class H felony conviction can result in at least 4 and up to 25 months in prison.

Fuel theft

Stealing motor fuel or gasoline constitutes a separate crime in North Carolina. You could receive Class F felony charges that may result in at least 10 and up to 41 months in prison.


Stealing from your employer can result in embezzlement charges. North Carolina considers this a felony even for amounts under $100. Higher-value theft carries Class C felony charges, punishable by at least 44 and up to 182 months in prison.

While the judge will start with these state sentencing guidelines, he or she will also review the mitigating and aggravating factors in your case. Mitigating factors, such as a clean criminal history, may help your case. Aggravating factors, such as causing injury during theft, can result in a more severe sentence.