View Our Practice Areas

Types Of Theft Offenses

Theft offenses in South Carolina are generally referred to as larceny - either Petit (less than $2000) or Grand. There are many specific theft offenses including shoplifting, receiving stolen goods, embezzlement, breach of trust, forgery and auto breaking.

At the law firm of Thomas J. Quinn, I have more than 38 years of experience handling criminal matters in Greenville and throughout Upstate South Carolina. I have dedicated my career to defending the future of people who are facing burglary, shoplifting or larceny charges, and other criminal charges. Let me show you the value of experience.

Contact me at 864-236-4631 to schedule a free initial consultation.

How The Law Defines Theft/Larceny

Larceny is defined as "the unlawful taking of property that belongs to another person, done with the intent to permanently deprive a person of the property." It is different from robbery which requires the use or threat of force.

Theft, as our moms taught us, is taking something that belongs to someone else. Larcenies can be either misdemeanors or felonies, usually determined by the amount of money involved.

The Effect Of Prior Convictions

Many theft offenses are punished more harshly if you have a prior conviction for the same offense, i.e. shoplifting, second offense, carries a potentially more severe sentence than a first offense shoplifting. However if you have two or more prior theft offense convictions you will face an enhanced sentence range of up to ten (10) years.

Additionally, if you have two prior convictions that qualify as 'serious' offenses under our law such as breach of trust over $5000 you would face a mandatory life sentence.

Fines For Shoplifting

If you are convicted of shoplifting, you will be civilly liable to the store owner or the owner of the merchandise in an amount that includes:

  • The retail price of the merchandise, if the goods are not recovered in sellable condition, up to a maximum of $1500, and
  • an additional penalty not to exceed the greater of three times the retail price of the merchandise or $150, up to a maximum of $500.

In cases involving a shoplifter who is a minor, if the parent or legal guardian of the minor "knew or should have known" of the minor's propensity to steal, the parent or legal guardian may be civilly liable to the store owner for damages in the same amounts listed above. (S.C. Code Ann. §15-75-40)

Furthermore, in addition to criminal penalties for theft, an offender that uses a vehicle during the commission of a larceny or theft is subject to having the vehicle confiscated and forfeited in civil proceedings.

Do Not Wait

If you are charged with any type of theft offense you should consult with an attorney immediately to learn the immediate and long-term consequences and available options. I offer a free initial consultation to provide all the help the law will allow.

Schedule your free consultation by contacting me at 864-236-4631 or sending me a message online.