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Chantilly Shoplifting Lawyer

The state of Virginia takes all theft charges very seriously, which means shoplifting charges are also taken very seriously. Facing serious consequences, especially for behavior that was not intended to have serious implications, can be frightening and confusing, and no one should go through the process alone. Therefore, if you are facing criminal shoplifting charges in Chantilly, waste no time in contacting a locally knowledgeable Chantilly shoplifting attorney to begin preparing your defense. An experienced theft lawyer can help in ensuring an individual’s rights are protected and a strong defense is built.

Definition of Shoplifting in Chantilly

In Chantilly, shoplifting is defined the same way as a larceny offense; it is the unlawful taking of any item of value that belongs to someone else, without their consent and with the intent to permanently deprive them of that item. If a person is being accused of shoplifting, they are actually being charged with larceny or with theft. There is an additional Virginia Code that further defines shoplifting to include the following as criminal acts:

  • Stealing or altering the price tag of an item
  • Taking possession of the goods of a store without paying
  • Assisting another person in altering tags or prices, or concealing items

If a person is helping their friend shoplift, they can be charged. Whenever something is being done with the fraudulent intent to deprive somebody of their property, even if a person is attempting to pay for the item with the wrong price, that activity is chargeable here in Chantilly under the Virginia law and warrants the attention of a Chantilly shoplifting attorney.

Shoplifting vs. Other Theft Charges

The essential component of shoplifting that differentiates it from other theft-related charges is that shoplifting encompasses a variety of activities that somebody might not consider as a theft charge. For example, simply concealing an item or altering a price tag can be charged as theft under the shoplifting statute in Virginia. Even though the act itself might seem minor and the value of the item might be low, shoplifting charges will be treated extremely seriously, and just as seriously as other theft charges. Sometimes it is easier to violate a shoplifting statute that it would be to violate a petty larceny statute, because the shoplifting statute is so broad and includes so many different actions that can all be considered shoplifting.

Potential Penalties of a Shoplifting Conviction

Depending upon the specific charges a person is facing, the penalties for a shoplifting conviction in Chantilly will vary. For example, if a person is charged with shoplifting any item that has a monetary value of less than $200, they are going to be charged and sentenced under the petty larceny guideline. Petty larceny carries up to 12 months in jail, and a fine up to $2,500. If somebody is charged with shoplifting goods valued at over $200, the offense is classified as a felony and as such, becomes much more serious. Depending on the facts of the case, a felony shoplifting offense carries with it anything ranging from one year to 20 years in prison, a much higher fine, and criminal charges for retaining the amount of goods that were taken.

Second Offense Shoplifting Consequences

Second offense shoplifting comes with a considerably more serious set of consequences that make contacting a Chantilly shoplifting attorney imperative. For a second time misdemeanor offense, and for second time petty larceny or petty shoplifting offenses involving less than $200 in property, a person can face a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail if convicted. If the charges being faced are for a third offense–or something beyond a third offense, a fourth, a fifth, or a sixth–an individual can be charged with a felony, and upon a sixth felony offense, even if it is the most minor felony, they will still be facing prison time and paying a large fine.

Benefits of Hiring a Chantilly Criminal Lawyer

In Chantilly, a shoplifting charge carries the same consequences and penalties that a theft offense does, and facing those charges alone can be intimidating and confusing. Like theft, shoplifting is going to have the same type of serious consequences, which can include extended jail time, steep fines, restitution payment, and even the social stigma tied to a shoplifting conviction. Given the significance of these potential shoplifting penalties, anyone who has been charged with shoplifting should hire an attorney to help combat these consequences and help prevent the charge from significantly affecting their life.

If you are facing criminal shoplifting charges, calling an experienced Chantilly shoplifting lawyer is the best decision you can make, not just for your case, but for your future.

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