While everyone makes mistakes or gets caught up in bad situations at one point or another, a theft or larceny conviction may result in a criminal record that can be damaging to your future. You may encounter challenges finding jobs, furthering your educations, and pursuing some careers. A New Kent theft lawyer could advise you of the potential range of penalties that you may be facing and work toward a satisfactory resolution in your case.
Getting in touch with a seasoned criminal attorney could be the most effective step toward a favorable outcome in your case. Legal counsel could evaluate the evidence against you and give you a clear assessment of the options that are available to you. Together, you could develop an effective defense strategy.
State law refers to basic theft as larceny and further subdivides the offense into two categories based on the value of the property stolen: petit larceny and grand larceny. Under Virginia Code §18.2-96, petit larceny is a misdemeanor offense that occurs when an individual takes property that is worth less than $500, or when they take property worth less than $5 directly from another person.
Alternatively, grand larceny refers to all other thefts of property valued at $500 or more. Grand larceny also occurs when an individual steals a firearm of any value or any property worth more than $5 directly from another person. A theft attorney in New Kent could be instrumental in defending individuals against both petit and grand larceny charges.
A conviction for petit larceny carries the potential for less severe penalties than a conviction for grand larceny. Petit larceny may result in up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Grand larceny, however, may result in a prison sentence ranging from one to 20 years.
Nonetheless, a judge or jury issuing sentences for individuals convicted of grand larceny may opt for a lesser punishment. They may reduce the penalty to a jail term of less than one year, a $2,500 fine, or both, which allows them essentially to sentence the individuals for petit rather than grand larceny.
Subsequent offenses also may result in more severe punishments. For instance, a second conviction for any theft offense requires the imposition of a 30-day minimum jail sentence. A third theft conviction, even if for petit larceny, may result in a Class 6 felony charge that carries the possibility for a one to a five-year prison sentence.
Larceny is not the only offense under state law that involves elements of theft. For instance, Va. Code §18.2-103 provides for shoplifting as a separate offense. A shoplifting conviction may result in the same penalties as a theft conviction, except that individuals also may face civil liability for items stolen from a business owner.
Another theft-related offense is a conspiracy to commit larceny. Under Va. Code §18.2-23, conspiracy to commit larceny occurs when two or more people agree to steal or help steal goods worth $500 or more. For instance, if one person commits a theft, while another person waits in the car, ready to drive away, then the getaway driver may face conspiracy to commit larceny charges.
Some theft-based offenses involve force, violence, or entry into the property of others. For example, carjacking and robbery often involve threats or physical harm to others. Likewise, a burglary involves unauthorized entry into a home or property to commit a theft.
Offenses such as carjacking and robbery may result in more severe charges and penalties since they result in harm or threats of harm to others. A seasoned theft lawyer in New Kent could be instrumental in helping individuals defend themselves against theft charges and the accompanying penalties.
Having a theft conviction on your record can be detrimental to your future. You may lose out on personal and professional opportunities due to your criminal background. A New Kent theft lawyer is the person to talk to when you are facing the prospect of a criminal conviction.
By seeking the help of legal counsel, you may put yourself in a better position to resolve the charges in your favor. To get started on your case, call today.
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