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Virginia Theft Lawyer
When it comes to property crime, often the person most hurt by the act is the person convicted of the crime. Theft may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the circumstances of the case, including the value of the property taken. If you have been charged with any type of theft, it is important to know how to best protect yourself from the negative consequences that accompany a conviction. Contacting a qualified Virginia theft lawyer is a good start to protecting yourself against the charges you are facing. Here is further information on the laws surrounding theft offenses in Virginia.
Larceny and Theft
Theft, or larceny, is the taking or stealing of another person’s money or property without permission. There are several different crimes with which one may be charged if accused of theft. Offenses that could fall under the general umbrella of theft include the following property crimes:
- Obtaining Goods or Services by False Pretenses
- Petit Larceny (value up to $200)
- Grand Larceny (value over $200)
- Identity theft
- Credit card fraud
- Auto theft
For a full list of the charges and penalties that fall within the category of burglary in Virginia, please click here.
Larceny is generally defined as the illegal taking of property from the property owner without the intent to return the property at some point. What distinguishes larceny from other theft crimes is the lack of violence used. Larceny is broken down into two separate categories in Virginia: petit larceny and grand larceny. The charges a suspect will face are determined based on the value of the property that was taken and whether it was taken from the victim’s immediate possession.
Section 18.2-96 of the Code of Virginia outlines petit larceny as the taking of money or property worth under $200 or taking money or property worth less than $5 directly from the person. Petit larceny is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which, according to Virginia Code Section 18.2-104, is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of no more than $2,500. If someone is found guilty of petit larceny and also has a prior conviction for an offense that would qualify as a type of larceny, they could face a minimum of 30 days in jail. For a third offense, the petit larceny could be elevated to a class 6 felony.
Grand larceny in Virginia is outlined in Section 18.2-95 of the Virginia Code. An individual who steals property worth over $200, steals property worth at least $5 directly from another person, or steals a firearm of any value could be convicted of grand larceny, which is a felony offense. Those who are convicted face a penalty of one to 20 years in a state correctional facility, or, at the discretion of the judge or jury, up to twelve months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.
Other larceny-related offenses with which an individual can be charged in Virginia include:
- Larceny of certain animals and poultry
- Conspiracy to commit larceny
- Larceny with intent to sell or distribute
A larceny conviction can have a serious negative impact on your life and the lives of your loved ones. Not only can the hefty fines create financial strain for you, but spending time in jail can impact your relationships with friends and family members, or even potentially result in job loss, thus adding to the financial burdens you already face. Further, having a criminal record can make you ineligible for certain types of employment or prevent you from pursuing educational opportunities. For individuals with government jobs, a criminal record can serve as a roadblock to obtaining or maintaining security clearances. A felony conviction could even strip you of certain constitutional rights, such as the right to bear arms and the right to vote.
When it comes to white collar crime such as fraud or embezzlement, often the individuals charged were being investigated for such activity long before they were ever arrested. If you suspect you may be involved in illegal white collar activity, it would be wise to contact a white collar criminal defense lawyer who can help protect your rights and start building a solid defense against the charges.
If you are charged with other types of theft or larceny, contact a theft lawyer for an evaluation of your case. In cases of misdemeanor petit larceny, your attorney may be able to negotiate a deferred sentence. For more serious felony cases, including grand larceny, your attorney may be able to negotiate a plea to a lesser charge. Regardless of the property crime with which you have been charged, our experienced lawyers will aggressively defend you to achieve the best possible outcome to your case. Contact our Virginia law office today to schedule a free consultation and to explore your options for defense.
For information or representation for property crimes in Maryland, please contact attorney Kush Arora at his website.