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Loudoun County Theft Lawyer

For various reasons, allegations of criminal theft can be uniquely complicated to defend against in the state of Virginia. State law in Virginia has less-specific categories for theft offenses in comparison with other states. The result is that most theft cases in Virginia are treated as grand larceny with a possible punishment of twenty years in prison. The potential penalties a defendant might face upon conviction—and accordingly, the best course of action for potentially mitigating those penalties—can vary substantially from case to case.

Guidance from an experienced Loudoun County theft lawyer is vital to protecting your rights and preserving your long-term prospects. Once retained, your skilled defense attorney will work to collect exculpatory evidence, construct a comprehensive defense that addresses the specific arguments made by the prosecution, and advocate for your best interests. You do not have to go through this alone, and you should trust your case to a skilled lawyer.

Contesting Theft Allegations in Loudoun County

Under common law, “larceny” entails knowingly removing money or property from its owner without their consent, and with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of the goods’ use or benefits. Building a successful defense against accusations of larceny is generally a matter of showing that one or more of these core elements of the offense do not apply to a particular situation.

For example, if someone who is accused of larceny took the money or goods based on a good-faith belief that they had the owner’s permission to do so, they would not have committed criminal larceny as understood under state law. A Loudoun County theft attorney could provide crucial assistance in constructing a defense strategy that takes in all of these factors.

Petit Versus Grand Larceny Under State Law

While the state of Virginia explicitly defines various forms of criminal theft based on the specific type of property allegedly taken, most such allegations fall within the blanket charges of grand larceny under Virginia Code § 18.2-95 or petit larceny under VA Code § 18.2-96. The crime of shoplifting is addressed separately under VA Code § 18.2-103 but broadly follows the same definitions of what constitutes “theft.” There is some additional clarification regarding indirect means of theft like altering price tags.

Anyone who commits larceny of something worth less than $5 directly from someone else’s person, or any amount of money or goods collectively worth less than $1,000, has committed petit larceny and has committed a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted of this offense, a defendant may be sentenced to a maximum 12-month jail term and/or a maximum $2,500 fine.

On the other hand, grand larceny—which entails larceny from the person of anything over $5 in value, or not from the person of anything over $1,000 in value or of any firearm—is an unclassified felony in Virginia. As a theft lawyer in Loudoun County could explain, this means that courts have substantial authority to impose unique sentences upon conviction based on the specific circumstances of a case. The penalty can be up to a maximum term in prison of 20 years, in addition to a $2,500 maximum fine.

Speak with a Loudoun County Theft Attorney About Your Legal Options

Theft charges can be challenging to address even if you have no history of criminal convictions. If you want the best chance of securing a favorable case resolution, seeking help from qualified legal counsel is extremely important.

A seasoned Loudoun County theft lawyer could be the ally you need in order to fight back against this charge. Call us today to learn more.

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