Larceny and Receiving or Possession of Stolen Goods
In South Carolina, larceny, or theft, is a graduated offense with the potential penalties based on the dollar amount of the property that is alleged to have been taken. If the dollar amount is less than $2,000.00, the crime charged is petit larceny, a misdemeanor punishable by 30 days. Grand larceny greater than $2,000.00 but less than $10,000.00 is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, and grand larceny greater than $10,000.00 is a felony punishable by up to ten years in prison.
In any larceny case, the prosecution must prove not only that you took the property, but also that you intended to permanently deprive the owner of that property. For example, if you borrow something with every intention of returning it, that is not larceny. The dollar amounts described above are also an element of the crime that must be proven. If the dollar amount in a grand larceny case is not proven beyond a reasonable doubt, you may be found guilty of the lesser included offense of petit larceny instead of the more serious grand larceny charge.
Often when law enforcement cannot prove larceny, they may charge a person with receiving or possession of stolen goods instead. It is against the law to receive or possess any item that you know to be stolen. Knowledge is an element of this crime and must be proven beyond any reasonable doubt before you can be convicted. If you have stolen goods in your possession, but you did not know that they were stolen, you are not guilty of receiving or possession of stolen goods.
Call our Myrtle Beach office at 843-444-6122 or contact us online to discuss your legal options if you are facing larceny or receiving stolen goods charges.