Being charged with theft can have a lasting effect on your personal and professional life. Aside from the possibility of having a criminal record that can follow you for the rest of your life, you also could face other serious ramifications, including significant fines and jail time.
Even a misdemeanor theft conviction can seriously impact your future, so regardless of the circumstances surrounding your charges, it may be a good idea to retain a NoVa theft lawyer who could help you handle your case. Our criminal defense attorneys could work hard to build an effective defense and protect your freedom.
When someone in North Virginia is accused of theft, the specific crime they are generally charged with is “larceny.” According to state law, larceny is defined as the unauthorized taking and removal of another person’s property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of it. Larceny charges tend to be categorized as non-violent crimes.
The type of theft charge an individual may find themselves facing depends on the specifics of the case, as well as the value of the alleged stolen property. As per Virginia Code §18.2-96, misdemeanor petit larceny entails either the theft of money or an item of value worth less than $5 directly from someone else’s person, or the theft of less than $1,000 of money, goods, or services not from someone else’s person.
Additionally, Virginia Code §18.2-95 defines grand larceny as a felony offense that occurs when the collective value of money or property stolen is $1,000 or more. Anyone who steals more than $5 worth of money or goods directly from someone else’s person may also find themselves facing grand larceny charges, as would anyone accused of stealing a firearm regardless of the gun’s financial value. A qualified attorney in NoVa could help construct a strong theft defense for either type of larceny charge.
State law classifies petit larceny as a Class 1 misdemeanor offense, which means that a conviction could lead to a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Grand larceny, on the other hand, is a felony punishable by a minimum of one year in state prison up to a maximum of 20 years, with prison time being a much more likely outcome if a defendant has been convicted on felony theft charges before.
In light of the dramatic difference in potential punishments between petit and grand larceny charges, effective defense strategies against theft allegations often revolve around demonstrating that the value of goods allegedly taken is not as high as the prosecution claims it to be. A qualified lawyer in NoVa may be able to get a first-time felony theft offense downgraded to a misdemeanor in this way.
Whatever your situation may be, it is important that you do not face your pending theft charges on your own. Having a criminal conviction on your record is no small matter and saving money by trying to fight your case yourself is not worth the lasting damage that a conviction could have on your life and career.
During an initial meeting, a NoVa theft lawyer could examine your case and discuss what options may be available when it comes to building your defense. To get started on your case, schedule a case consultation today.
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