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Arlington Theft Lawyer

Theft or larceny offenses under Virginia law involve the unauthorized taking of property belonging to another, either directly from the person or from a store or other location. Even petit larceny, which generally involves property valued at less than $500, is a criminal offense that involves dishonesty and deception.

As a result, an Arlington theft lawyer may be able to give you advice needed to help you avoid some of the potentially negative consequences of a larceny or theft conviction.

Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney may enable you to assert all available defenses to the charges against you. Being aware of your rights and potential defenses may contribute to a different resolution in your case.

Petit Larceny and Grand Larceny

Theft, which is referred to as larceny under Virginia law, is generally divided into two categories: petit larceny and grand larceny. Under Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-96, petit larceny involves the theft of property less than $500 and the theft of property directly from another person with a value of less than five dollars. This is the least serious of the two types of larceny.

Grand larceny is the more serious offense and involves the theft of property with a value of more than $500, as well as the theft of property with a value of more than five dollars. Pursuant to Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-95, the theft of a firearm also automatically qualifies as grand larceny, as does a third or subsequent larceny offense, regardless of the value of the property at issue.

Possible Penalties for Larceny Offenses

Under Virginia law, petit larceny is a Class 1 misdemeanor offense. The potential penalties include a jail sentence of up to 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500.

Grand larceny, however, is a felony offense. Conviction on charges of grand larceny may result in a prison sentence from a minimum of one year to a maximum of 20 years, in addition to a $2,500 fine. For more information, get in touch with a Arlington theft lawyer

Concealing or Taking Possession of Merchandise

Virginia law establishes a separate criminal offense for shoplifting. Pursuant to Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-103, it is illegal for individuals to:

  • Purposely conceal or take goods from a store
  • Alter the price tag or transfer goods from one container to another
  • Assist or abet another into doing any of these actions

These actions are illegal under this section if the individuals act without authority and with the intention of converting the property for their own use or that of another without paying full purchase price, or to defraud the property owner the value of the property.

Similar to the penalties for larceny, concealing or taking goods is misdemeanor petit larceny if the value of the good is less than $500. The offense is felony grand larceny if the value of the goods is more than $500.

Civil Liability for Larceny and Shoplifting

Under Va. Code § 8.01-44.4, storeowners may hold individuals civilly liable for larceny of property from their stores. Individuals may be responsible for $50 or two times the value of the property taken, whichever is greater.

If, however, the storeowner recovers the property in condition in which it can be resold, the maximum civil liability is $350. Individuals who commit larceny also may be responsible for paying reasonable court costs and attorney’s fees, which cannot be in excess of $150.

How an Arlington Theft Attorney Can Help

Having a theft or larceny conviction on your record can decrease your job opportunities, career advancement, and professional licensure in some cases. Avoiding or minimizing the impact of a conviction may be key to preserving your financial future and career mobility. In this situation, an Arlington theft lawyer may be able to assist you.

With the assistance of a theft lawyer in Arlington, you may be able to prevent or overcome the charges against you and avoid some of the negative aspects of a criminal conviction involving dishonesty. Getting this crucial legal advice may beneficial to you if you are facing any type of theft or criminal charges.

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