NASCAR driver Mike Harmon turned himself into the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office after warrants were issued for his arrest and the arrest of his business partner. Mr. Harmon faces charges of breaking and entering, and larceny after breaking and entering. The charges relate to allegations that he and his business partner stole seven cars from Jennifer Jo Cobb, a NASCAR truck racer and former colleague. While these cars did not belong to Harmon, he had previously worked as Cobb’s team manager.
What are the penalties for stealing a car from another person’s garage?
Under North Carolina law, if you break into another person’s garage and steal a car, you could be charged with breaking and entering with intent to commit larceny, and felony larceny, both of which are Class H felonies. If you are convicted of a Class H felony, you face a minimum penalty of five months of community punishment for a first offense. However, if you stole a car by entering an occupied dwelling house in order to steal a car from the garage, you could be convicted of first-degree burglary. As first-degree burglary is classified as a Class D felony, you face a minimum sentence of 51 months in a state prison for a first offense, with the potential of up to 128 months in prison if you have previous convictions.
What if I am retrieving my own car?
In order to have committed larceny, you must be taking property that belongs to another person. If you are attempting to retrieve your own car, which has been taken from you unlawfully and is being stored in another person’s garage, you cannot be convicted of larceny. However, you could be charged with wrongful breaking and entering, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor. If your car is being held by a mechanic at a car repair garage, state law provides that the mechanic be given a lien over the car to secure payment for the repairs. As a result, if you break in to take your car back without making payment, you could be prosecuted for larceny, as well as breaking and entering with intent to commit larceny.
Posted in Criminal Defense | Tagged larceny, stealing a car