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Fairfax Shoplifting Lawyer

A Fairfax shoplifting lawyer can provide you with legal representation if you have been accused of taking items that do not belong to you. Penalties for shoplifting vary based upon whether you have ever been convicted before as well as based on the alleged value of the items you are accused of taking.

An attorney in Fairfax with experience handling shoplifting cases can help you to decide how you should respond to charges in order to try to avoid the most serious consequences or to try to avoid any consequences at all by securing a not guilty verdict. Contact a Fairfax theft lawyer today to learn more.

Finding A Fairfax Shoplifting Lawyer

There are defenses to charges of shoplifting including:

  • Lack of intent to take the item.
  • A rightful claim of ownership to the item.

You may try to cast doubt on whether the prosecutor has met the legal burden of proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. A shoplifting lawyer in Fairfax can review the evidence against you and facts of your case and help you to decide if you want to take a chance on going to court and pleading not guilty.

You also have the option to try to negotiate a deferred prosecution agreement, which could allow you to avoid a criminal record, or to try to come to a plea agreement with the prosecutor. Your attorney can help you to determine if these options are right for you and will talk to the prosecutor on your behalf.

To learn more or for help with your shoplifting charges, contact a Fairfax shoplifting lawyer today.

Fairfax Laws on Shoplifting

Larceny in Virginia is defined as the wrongful or fraudulent taking of any items of value that belong to another without the consent of the rightful owner or with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of the value of items taken.  If you are accused of shoplifting, you will be charged with larceny.

Virginia Code Section 18.2-103 also makes it a crime to:

  • Conceal or take possession of the goods or merchandise of any store.
  • Alter price tags of price markings on goods to deprive the owner of their full value.
  • Transfer goods from one container to another to deprive the owner of their full value.
  • Assist anyone else in altering price tags, transferring goods, or concealing merchandise.

A merchant or shopkeeper who believes you have done any of these prohibited behaviors has the legal right to detain you for up to one hour under Virginia Code Section 18.2-105.1.

Penalties for Shoplifting in Fairfax

Penalties for shoplifting in Fairfax are based upon the value of the goods you allegedly tried to steal. You may be charged with petit larceny, which is a misdemeanor, or with grand larceny, which is a felony offense.

Petit larceny is defined in Virginia Code Section 18.2-96 as the theft of items valued up to $200. Potential penalties include up to a year of jail time and up to a $2,500 fine. Under Virginia Code Section 18.2-104, you may face a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days incarceration for a second offense. If you commit a third or subsequent offense, even the theft of low-valued goods can result in Class 6 felony charges.

Grand larceny is defined in Virginia Code Section 18.2-95 as a felony offense.  If you steal items valued at $200 or more, you could be sentenced to anywhere from one to 20 years imprisonment. You will also be charged with grand larceny for the theft of any firearm.

Legal Assistance in Fairfax

It may seem like something minor, but even an isolated shoplifting charge can trigger a number of negative side-effects if not handled properly. In order to give yourself the best chances to move past these charges, contact a Fairfax shoplifting lawyer with our firm today. We will conduct your free initial consultation and determine how we can best help you.