Five Types of Property Crime in North Carolina

Charlotte Criminal Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?”


Criminal law is complex. There are many crimes that can be committed under the same “type” of offense and there are different levels of severity for each crime. In North Carolina, there are many different crimes that can be committed to/on property. The following are the most common types of property crime in North Carolina.




North Carolina statute defines robbery as “any person or persons who, having in possession or with the use or threatened use of any firearms or other dangerous weapon, implement or means, whereby the life of a person is endangered or threatened, unlawfully takes or attempts to take personal property from another or from any place of business, residence or banking institution or any other place where there is a person or persons in attendance, at any time, either day or night.” Additionally, anyone who aids in the commission of a robbery is also guilty. Robbery is considered a Class D felony.




Burglary is entering or remaining in a building without consent of the owners and with the intent to commit a crime. There are two different types of burglary, though. A lesser offense of a second-degree burglary is breaking into or remaining in a building when there is no one there. A second-degree burglary is a Class D felony. A first-degree burglary is more serious because it involves entering and remaining in the building or residence when there are other people present. First-degree burglary is a Class D felony.


Breaking and Entering


Breaking and entering is a misdemeanor crime. Breaking and entering is committed when any person “breaks or enters” any building. However, breaking and entering can be escalated to a Class H felony when a person “breaks or enters any building with intent to commit any felony or larceny.”


Criminal Trespass


Criminal trespass is classified by two degrees of severity. A first-degree trespass is committed when a person enters or remains on the premises of another where there is clear indication of the intent to keep out intruders. This is a Class 2 misdemeanor. A second-degree trespass is entering the premises of another when the owner has specifically said to keep out of the premise. A second-degree trespass is a Class 3 felony.


Willful and Wanton Injury to Real Property


An individual who injures or damages property, both public and private, can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor.


As you can see above, there are subtle differences between different types of property crimes. For this reason, if you have been charged with any of the above, you need an attorney who understands the differences between these similar charges on your side. The skilled attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are well versed in the differences between charges. We are dedicated to getting you the best possible results under the circumstances. Hire an attorney who pays attention to the details, an attorney at Arnold & Smith, PLLC.  Please contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC today at (704) 370-2828 or find additional resources here.







The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.





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