Shoplifting is a theft offense and it can be charged in a couple of different ways in Virginia. It can be charged as a petit larceny or a grand larceny. Also, concealment of merchandise can be charged as a theft offense and it is treated the same way as a petit larceny or a grand larceny offense. In many shoplifting cases, the Commonwealth charges the defendant with concealing merchandise rather than larceny. The penalties for shoplifting can be harsh, as a defendant is looking at possible jail time. If you have been arrested for shoplifting, let a seasoned theft attorney fight for you. Contact an Alexandria shoplifting lawyer to get started on your defense.
The possible penalties for a shoplifting offense will depend upon the level of offense that is charged. For example, someone who is charged with a first offense petit larceny will have a maximum penalty of one year in jail. However, most people without a criminal record will likely get a suspended jail sentence if they are convicted. Someone who is charged with their first offense is in a much better position than someone who has a previous charge. An individual who is charged with a third offense of shoplifting will face an even more severe sentence as they will be looking at a felony. This means the person will likely be sentenced according to the Felony Sentencing Guidelines.
The shoplifting penalties will be harsher if the amount of merchandise stolen is worth more than $200. If it is worth more than $200, then the defendant is facing a felony and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. If the amount of items stolen is worth less than $200, then the individual is facing a maximum sentence of one year and a fine of up to $2,500. Shoplifting penalties can be severe, which is why it is essential for defendants to reach out to a dedicated Alexandria shoplifting lawyer.
Before a defendant can be convicted of a shoplifting offense, the prosecutor has to be able to prove the case against them beyond a reasonable doubt. This includes each element of the offense that the individual is charged with. For a shoplifting offense, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant took property that belonged to someone else with that person’s permission and with the intent to deprive that person of the property.
An individual who is charged with the concealment of merchandise will be facing charges that they took merchandise that belonged to a store and concealed it from common view while in the store with the intent to leave the store without paying for it. There are slightly different elements that the prosecutor will have to prove depending on the exact crime that is charged. A skilled lawyer could challenge the prosecutor’s case by building a viable defense.
An Alexandria shoplifting lawyer could give a defendant an advantage during their case. An accomplished attorney with experienced handling shoplifting cases will know which arguments to raise and how to build a defense. If you are facing shoplifting charges, contact an Alexandria shoplifting attorney who could advocate on your behalf throughout your case.
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