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 petty larceny, while felony theft is considered grand larceny. The difference between petty larceny and grand larceny is the difference in the amount of money or value of property that has been stolen.
Possible theft charges a person can face in Alexandria stem from petty 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.
Petty 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 $200 not from a person with the intent to permanently deprive them.
The most common theft offense is a common petty larceny charge, which is the theft of anything valued at less than $200 that has not been taken directly from another person, such as shoplifting items valued at less than $200. If the property is taken directly from another person, such as what happens in a pickpocket scenario, anything taken valued at less than $5 qualifies as petty larceny.
Petty 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 petty larceny, it is going to be a felony charge. Even though someone might have taken something that is under $200, or less than $5 from a person, if it is their third petty larceny offense, it will be charged as a felony and therefore warrants immediate contact with an Alexandria theft attorney.
Petty 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. Petty 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 petty larceny cases because there are many ways that a lawyer can present a robust defense to petty 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. Because one of the things that needs to be proven in a petty larceny case is the value of the item, that is something an attorney can argue. They can also say that it was not carried away or that intent was not there. These are all robust arguments that somebody with experience in petty larceny will know along with the case law and how to properly attack that charge.
A petty larceny conviction will have many long term consequences. Petty larceny is a misdemeanor offense that will be on the person’s criminal record and will come up on any background check. Future employers will see that the person has been convicted for petty larceny. Petty larceny, because it is stealing, can also have a negative stigma attached to it. An employer might not want to have a person work for them when they see that they have a petty larceny conviction. It is something that could impact the person’s relationships with their friends and in the future. Additionally, there are certain landlords that will be performing background checks and will perhaps look negatively on such convictions.
In Alexandria, there are certain things that can be an alternative to a conviction. One of the options is called the Stop Shop Program. It is a stop shoplifting program that is offered to first time offenders of petty 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 series of 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 petty 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 that they took from the person must be $5 or more, or, if it was not from a person and worth over $200, the theft would be also be considered grand larceny.
If the property is stolen directly from another individual, anything taken valued at more than $5 will be charged as grand larceny, which is a felony offense. Likewise, stealing property worth more than $200 is also charged as grand larceny, and carries the potential for felony-level penalties if convicted.
A theft attorney in Alexandria is able to argue that there was no intent to permanently deprive and that the defendant was just borrowing the property, they can argue that the defendant was not taking the property away from another party, and they can say that there was not over $200 taken or more than $5 taken directly from a person toward differentiating the charge between a misdemeanor or a felony.
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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