Theft crimes may be misdemeanors or felonies in Virginia, depending upon the value of items taken as well as the methods used to deprive the owner of the items. A Richmond lawyer experienced in theft cases can provide representation whenever you are accused of a theft offense. Responding assertively as soon as you are charged is essential to fighting to avoid charges or reduce penalties.
When accused of theft, you can plead not guilty or plead guilty. You will need to make the choice of whether it is better to try to fight conviction or whether it is better to attempt to negotiate a plea agreement in an effort to reduce penalties.
If there is insufficient evidence to move forward with criminal prosecution, you can also seek to get charges dropped. Determining your best course of action requires weighing the evidence and determining defenses available to you.
If you decide to fight conviction, you can make many different arguments including claiming the item rightfully belonged to you. You can also attempt to introduce reasonable doubt regarding whether there is evidence a theft crime was committed. In some cases, challenging the value of the alleged products or services stolen can also be valuable, as there are more serious charges imposed for the theft of more costly items.
A theft lawyer with experience can help your defense in a number of ways. They will conduct an investigation into evidence, can provide guidance on options available to you, and can negotiate a deal on your behalf or present evidence during a criminal trial. The goal is to resolve your case with the minimal consequences or with no conviction at all.
Here are some of the charges a Richmond theft defense attorney will have experience with:
There are a variety of different laws related to theft in Richmond. Defendants could be charged under Virginia Code Section 18.2-96, which establishes the offense of petit larceny. Petit larceny is a misdemeanor with the potential of a maximum of one year in jail if convicted. This offense involves the theft of items, other than a gun, taken using a non-violent method and valued at $200 or less.
Defendants could also be charged with grand larceny under Code Section 18.2-95. This offense could result in a penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment for the theft of items valued at $200 or more or for the theft of firearms.
For defendants who participate in selling stolen goods- even without actually stealing those goods themselves – a felony charge could be brought under Code Section 18.2-108.01 and could result in a maximum of 20 years imprisonment if convicted.
Finally, defendants could be charged with other offenses such as burglary if they enter dwellings at night to commit grand larceny or if they use violence, threats, or force to commit larceny. Facing charges for these or other related crimes could result in the loss of your freedom and could change your life forever.
A Richmond theft attorney can offer you invaluable advice and assertive and strategic legal representation as you deal with your theft charges. They will walk you through your case, conduct thorough investigations to collect evidence, and fight enthusiastically for your defense. Call today to schedule a consultation with an experienced attorney to learn more.
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