Theft is common in Brunswick County, but even small thefts are very serious offenses. Many of these crimes are felonies punishable by lengthy terms of imprisonment. Moreover, having a conviction for theft on your record could potentially restrict your ability to gain and maintain employment.
If you are facing charges involving larceny, embezzlement, shoplifting, or other theft crimes, your best chance at beating these charges and preserving your future could be by working with a dedicated Brunswick County theft lawyer. A criminal defense lawyer could help protect your rights and fight the charges to enable you to reach a positive outcome.
Although state statutes define several distinct types of theft, they are generally divided between grand larceny and petit larceny. Essentially, the value of the property taken determines the severity of the penalty in most cases.
Grand larceny is a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. However, the court has the discretion to try the case as petit larceny. Petit larceny is a Class 1 misdemeanor with maximum penalties that include one year of incarceration and a fine of up to $2,500. An experienced attorney in Brunswick County could fight to get the charges reduced to petit theft, potentially avoiding thousands of dollars in fines and years in prison.
In the state’s statutes, basic theft is referred to by the traditional common law term of larceny. The term is not defined in the statutes, so it retains the common law meaning. Someone commits larceny when they unlawfully take or hold property belonging to another person with the intent to deprive the owner of the use of the property permanently.
Petit larceny, sometimes referred to as petty theft, occurs when someone takes property valued at less than $500. When a theft involves property worth more, the crime is treated as grand larceny under Va. Code Ann. §18.2-95. However, if the property taken is a firearm, the crime is considered grand larceny, regardless of the gun’s value. Additionally, if someone takes the property “from the person” of another, such as via pickpocketing, then the crime is treated as grand larceny unless the property taken is worth no more than five dollars. A dedicated lawyer in Brunswick County might be able to show why alleged grand larceny should be considered petit larceny or that there was no unlawful taking or theft in the first place.
The state criminal code describes many different types of theft crimes. These including:
A local lawyer could work to collect evidence to refute accusations regarding these offenses. When a theft crime is accompanied by potential violent action, such as robbery or burglary, the crime may be penalized much more severely.
To give yourself the best chance of securing a positive outcome, it is wise to start working with an experienced legal team as soon as possible. A Brunswick County theft lawyer could represent your interests and help you avoid damage to your case. To learn more, call now for a consultation.
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