A misdemeanor theft charge in Manassas is considered to be a class one misdemeanor which means that those accused are theoretically facing penalties of up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. However, in the majority of misdemeanor cases, depending on the facts of the case and whether the individual was previously convicted of any larceny charges, the government will only seek an active jail sentence between a few days and a week. While this may be much less severe than what those accused of felony theft charges may face, misdemeanor charges still go on your criminal record making it imperative an experienced Manassas theft lawyer is contacted.
The worst consequence for a felony charge in Manassas is having a felony conviction go on your record. A felony is something that will stay with someone for the rest of their life and it’s something that will automatically disqualify them from a number of things such as obtaining student loans and from getting certain kinds of jobs as well as obtaining certain kinds of financing. As a practical matter, whether the individual receives an active jail sentence (and how much), a suspended sentence, has the charge reduced, or beats it all together will be determined by the facts and circumstances of their case as well as whether they have any prior convictions and especially whether they have any prior larceny convictions.
The harshest penalty that you can experience if you are convicted of theft under the felony version of that offense is up to five years in prison, or 12 months in jail, and a $2,500 fine.
Prior criminal convictions can have a significant impact on someone who is charged with theft in a number of ways. First, whenever someone is charged for the third time with what is considered a petty larceny (that is, something that is worth less than $200), that is actually a felony charge in Virginia, even though the item in question or items in question were less than that threshold $200 amount. In addition, whether they are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, having previous larceny charges is likely to cause the sentence and the penalties to be more severe if the individual is convicted in the current case.
Most courts believe in a graduated system of punishment, which means that whatever the punishment was for the previous conviction will serve as a beginning point for what the punishment should be on the current case. And in most circumstances, the punishment for the current conviction will be more and in some cases significantly more. For felonies, prior convictions are considered under the Virginia Sentencing Guidelines and have the effect of increasing the recommended sentence under the guidelines.
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