There are a few different theft related charges that you could encounter in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and it is important to keep in mind that you are innocent until proven guilty. If you are arrested for theft related charges, you should invoke your right to remain silent and request an attorney. If you or a loved one is facing a potential conviction for any kind of theft, contact the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, criminal defense attorneys at David Aylor Law Offices right away.
South Carolina Refers to All Theft Crimes as Larceny
In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, all theft related charges are identified as larceny. This includes the theft of any item that is valuable in any way. It could be someone else’s possessions, their money, an item at the store that you failed to pay for, someone’s vehicle when you didn’t have permission to take it, etc. Yet, not all cases of larceny are intentional or legitimately a crime. For instance, you may have left an item in your shopping cart without realizing it. You may also have permission to borrow a vehicle, and be completely surprised when you are charged with a crime. These are just a couple of examples, but they illustrate the importance of remembering that you are not guilty just because you are charged with a crime. With a skilled criminal defense attorney, you could beat the charges.
There Are Different Types of Larceny and Different Consequences for Each
The value of the stolen property is going to determine the severity of the crime in South Carolina. It could be a misdemeanor, or it could be a felony. It might be a shoplifting offense, a petit larceny offense, or a grand larceny offense. The lowest level of larceny is petite larceny, which is also known as petty theft. This is a misdemeanor and is defined as any larceny of items or services with a value no greater than $2K. For Grand larceny, which is also known as grand theft, is more serious. This is a felony offense with two categories of its own. These are grand larceny with a value greater than $2K, but no higher than $10K, and grand larceny with a value greater than $10K.
If you are convicted of petit larceny, you could be imprisoned for up to thirty days and you may face a fine of up to $1K. If you are convicted of grand larceny of less than $10K, then you could be imprisoned for up to five years and you may face any fines that the court orders. If you are convicted of grand larceny of greater that $10K, then you may end up in prison for up to ten years. You may also face fines that are likewise decided by the court that tries your case.
Do You Have Prior Convictions for Theft Charges in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?
One important question that you’ll have to address when facing theft charges in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is whether or not you’ve been convicted of similar crimes in the past. This matters because you can face more serious consequences if you have a prior conviction. The same goes for shoplifting charges. You’ll want to discuss this issue with your Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, criminal defense attorney to find out exactly what impact your prior convictions will have your current case.
Are You Facing Charges for Shoplifting in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina?
When it comes to shoplifting charges in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, there are multiple types of offenses and potential consequences involved. You can face criminal consequences as well as civil consequences if you are convicted of a shoplifting crime. South Carolina has a very wide reaching definition and includes all of the following scenarios:
- Taking store merchandise out of the store without paying for it
- Altering price tags to state a different price or switching price tags
- Removing price tags from merchandise
- Putting merchandise into a another container to hide it or change price
- Concealing merchandise in any way to avoid paying for it
Of course, it is entirely possible to do some of these things on accident or to be a victim of circumstance. For example, imagine a case where you left something on the bottom of your cart and forgot about it. Or, consider a situation in which you go to purchase a garbage can without realizing that someone else came along before you and put another product inside of it. You might even grab a product off of a shelf where someone came along before you and switched the price tags. You could be facing shoplifting charges through no fault of your own or through an honest mistake.
There are Civil Penalties in Addition to Criminal Consequences for Theft in South Carolina
Aside from the criminal consequences that you can face for shoplifting in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, you can also face civil litigation from the store owner or merchandise owner. This means that you can be sued for the value of the stolen merchandise if that merchandise is not returned in a condition in which it can still be sold. The maximum value that you can be ordered to pay in such cases is $1,500. However, you can also face an additional penalty of up to three times the value of the merchandise, limited at $500. If the person who shoplifted is a minor, then the parents can be held responsible if they had any knowledge or reason to be aware of the likelihood of the minor shoplifting. Further, if a vehicle was used to transport the stolen items, then that vehicle could be confiscated.
Contact David Aylor Law Offices to Get Skilled Criminal Defense in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
At David Aylor Law Offices, we have seen many cases of theft charges and shoplifting charges. We know that you might be in this position because of an honest mistake or through no fault of your own. We also believe that you should not face consequences that are unreasonable in relation to the alleged crime, especially if you are innocent. Contact an experienced Charleston, SC criminal defense lawyer to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you to fight the charges and improve the outcome of your case.