In Virginia, larceny is the official term used to describe any type of theft-related offense. The general definition of larceny is the taking of property that belongs to another person without that person’s consent, and with the intent to permanently deprive them of the property. Alexandria, like anywhere else in the Commonwealth, takes theft charges very seriously at all levels.
Larceny is broken down into two different levels of theft. Misdemeanor theft is classified as petit larceny, while felony theft is considered grand larceny. The difference between petit larceny and grand larceny is the difference in the amount of money or value of property that has been stolen.
Theft charges come in many forms in Alexandria, including but not limited to petit larceny, grand larceny, shoplifting, receiving stolen goods, or larceny with the intent to sell. If you are facing any kind of theft charge in Alexandria, it is imperative that you contact an experienced Alexandria theft lawyer immediately so that they can begin building you the most robust defense possible in order to minimize the charges and penalties you may be facing. To discuss the first steps you should take, consult with a defense attorney today.
Petit larceny in Alexandria is the wrongful taking of an item valued at less than $5 from a person with the intent to permanently deprive them of that property, or taking items less than $1,000 not from a person with the intent to permanently deprive them.
The most common theft offense is a common petit larceny charge, which is the theft of anything valued at less than $1,000 that has not been taken directly from another person, such as shoplifting items valued at less than $1,000. If the property is taken directly from another person, like in a pickpocket scenario, anything taken valued at less than $5 qualifies as petit larceny.
Petit larceny is a Class 1 misdemeanor which means it is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. It is important to note that if someone is charged with a third-offense petit larceny, it is going to be a felony charge. Even though someone might have taken something that is worth under $1,000, or less than $5 from a person, if it is their third petit larceny offense, it will be charged as a felony and therefore warrants immediate contact with an Alexandria theft attorney.
Petit larceny cases are prosecuted quite vigorously in Alexandria. Alexandria is a very tight-knit community and prosecutors place emphasis on keeping community members safe and keeping their property protected. Petit larceny charges are taken very seriously in Alexandria and they are prosecuted very frequently. It is one of the most common offenses in the Alexandria courts.
It is important to have an experienced attorney in petit larceny cases because there are many ways that a lawyer can present a robust defense to petit larceny. People are going to need an attorney that will be able to understand the charges and be able to attack all the ways that the Commonwealth is going to try to prove their case. Common defenses in a petit larceny case are that the item was not actually carried away or lack of intent to permanently deprive. These are all robust legal and factual arguments that somebody with experience in petit larceny case law will know. An experienced lawyer can effectively attack that charge.
A petit larceny conviction will have many long term consequences. Petit larceny is a misdemeanor offense that will be included on the person’s criminal record and will show up on any background check. Future employers will see that the person has been convicted for petit larceny. Petit larceny, because it is stealing, is known as a “crime of moral turpitude,” which invokes untrustworthiness and dishonesty. An employer might not want to have a person work for them when they see that they have a petit larceny conviction. It is something that could impact the person’s relationships and opportunities in the future. It might be harder to avail yourself of employment, housing, or even government benefits if you have a petit larceny conviction on your record.
In Alexandria, there are certain consequences that can be an alternative to a conviction. One of the options is called the Stop Shop Program. It is a program that is offered to first-time offenders of petit larceny charges for shoplifting. If the person has never been convicted of a larceny offense before, the prosecutors might be willing to offer this, and there would be community service involved. It is basically a series of programs or sessions that the offender goes through designed to educate them about the consequences of shoplifting. It is a specific course that can be an alternative to a conviction in Alexandria.
Grand larceny is a separate Virginia statute, but it uses the same definition of theft as petit larceny. Grand larceny is taking property or money from another person with the intent to permanently deprive them of that money or property. Specifically, the property or money taken directly from the person must be $5 or more, or, if not taken directly from a person, it must be worth over $1,000. Grand larceny is a felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
A theft attorney in Alexandria will be able to utilize defense in a theft case. These defenses most commonly consist of arguing that there was no intent to permanently deprive, that the defendant was just borrowing the property, that the defendant never actually took the property, or that the value of property is not sufficient.
If you are facing theft charges in Alexandria, do not waste time in preparing to confront the charges and the penalties that could be imposed upon you if convicted. Contact our theft lawyers today for your best chance at securing a positive outcome in your case.
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