Theft in Chantilly is defined the same way as it is defined throughout Virginia, which is not only by statutes but also by state law. In Virginia, theft is the unlawful taking of another’s property or money without their permission with the intent to permanently deprive. There are many components that make up theft offenses, but the basic element of the crime is the unlawful taking of somebody else’s property or money without their consent with the intent to permanently deprive. Overall, theft is treated very seriously and can carry a number of serious penalties for those convicted. For this reason, if you are facing criminal charges in Chantilly, it is important to start building your defense by contacting a Chantilly theft lawyer today.
In order for a theft charge to become a theft conviction, the prosecutor will have to prove various things, depending on what specific charges an individual is facing. For example, if an individual has been charged with a misdemeanor offense of petty larceny, then a prosecutor not only has to prove that somebody unlawfully and intentionally took something of value from someone else without permission for the purpose of depriving that person of the property, but also has to show that the property in question was valued and that its monetary value was under $200.
If the property is valued at more than $200, the charge would be for grand larceny. The elements that a prosecutor has to prove in a Chantilly theft case all connect back to the general concept that what occurred was the unlawful taking away of somebody else’s property or money without their permission and with the intent to permanently deprive. Those elements will be slightly different in each case, which means how a Chantilly theft attorney builds a strong defense depends on a number of factors.
The possible consequences of theft vary depending on the type of theft that has been charged. If a person has been charged with a misdemeanor theft offense, they are facing up to 12 months in jail, fines up to $2,500 depending on the facts of their case, restitution for whatever has been taken, and a period of probation.
The consequences of a felony theft offense are much worse. Depending on the severity of the offense and the facts surrounding it, the penalties if convicted can vary drastically based on the facts of the case. A grand larceny conviction can lead to incarceration from one year to 20 years, and a robbery conviction can result in a life sentence. Virginia Code treats felony situations much more severely than misdemeanors, and the set of penalties for felony offenses reflects that. The facts of each case and whether the charges being faced are misdemeanor charges or felony charges play a major role in corresponding penalties and makes it imperative a theft lawyer in Chantilly is contacted as soon as possible.
In Chantilly, there are potential programs and potential agreements that can be made with the prosecutor. Such programs may include community service or stop shoplifting classes in exchange for either a reduction of the sentence or a dismissal of the sentence after that plea. However, these opportunities will depend on the facts of the case, what exactly a person is charged with, how serious it is, and whether or not a person has any kind of criminal record whatsoever.
The role that a Chantilly theft lawyer will play when dealing with a client charged with theft is that of an aggressive and capable advocate. When a person is standing in court, the attorney is going to stand by their side and diligently attack the evidence that the prosecution is bringing against them. An experienced lawyer can also take on the roles of investigator and adviser. They will find out all the facts of the case and really sit down with the client to discuss what their options are, whether or not there is any kind of information that the client can bring to the table to help create a solid defense, and what their goals are as far as the outcome of the case.
First, the attorney will ask about the details of the case and then walk through each of the facts of the case with them. As the attorney and client walk through the case, the attorney will ask additional questions to help get an understanding of exactly what happened, who the potential witnesses are, or where evidence might be found that either supports or weakens the defense.
Next, the theft attorney will go over the individual’s criminal history and what their outcome goals might be for the case to get an understanding of what the best possible outcome for them is.
Finally, they will discuss potential defenses and their likely success and talk about the criminal process and exactly how the case will progress as we move forward in the courtroom with the court system and the case.
Someone who has already been convicted of misdemeanor theft in Chantilly should absolutely consider hiring an experienced attorney with a working knowledge of how to best handle the case from a local perspective. If they are within the statutory time period in which a person can appeal, an attorney can help appeal the conviction for trial at the circuit court level. If the defendant was previously tried in circuit court and feels that there was a miscarriage of justice in their case at the trial level, they may be able to appeal up to the Virginia Court of Appeals. In appeal situations, where the defendant feels as though they did not get a fair shot the first time, a Chantilly theft lawyer is a valuable asset who will be able to locate the case and examine it to let their client know whether or not it is realistic and worth it to try to fight their conviction again at a different level.
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