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Richmond Theft Charges

Theft in Richmond is taking the property of another with the intent to deprive them of the use of that item. If a person is charged with theft in Richmond, they should consider hiring a Richmond theft lawyer. The judges and prosecutors in Richmond can be very tough on these charges. Even if it is a petit larceny charge for petty theft, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor which could result in up to 12 months in jail and up to $2,500 fine. The penalties are significant. There is also the possibility that these charges can greatly impact the person’s ability to retain any employment.

The Elements of Theft

With a theft charge, there are two elements. First, you need to show that you did not have ownership of the item, in other words, you did not have the claim of right. Second, you need to show that the item belongs to another, you intended to take it, and you intended to permanently deprive the individual of that property or money.

What Separate Charges Can be Included in Theft?

Sometimes with theft charges there will be additional charges for trespass. There are also charges relating to theft, like embezzlement, fraud, or check charges that can relate to how you obtain the money.

Possible Consequences of Theft Charges in Richmond

Consequences for theft charges can range from a probationary period to an active incarceration term. You will also be required to pay any restitution that is owed. Also, there is typically long-term, supervised probation if it is a felony charge as well as a drug test.

Misdemeanor theft charges in Richmond can result in a possible jail sentence of up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. It can also result in a criminal record that can greatly impact the ability to retain and obtain future employment.

Felony charges are even more serious as they will typically result in an active incarceration sentence. These sentences can range from several months to several years, depending on the charge and the criminal record. In addition, if you are convicted of a felony charge, it can impact your right to vote, your right to bear firearms, and your right to retain and obtain employment.

One of the harshest penalties you can receive is up to 20 years in jail on a grand larceny charge. The penalties can be quite significant.

The Effect of Prior Convictions on a Person Charged with Theft

Your prior record and prior criminal charges can greatly impact how you are treated on a theft charge or conviction. If you have two or more prior offenses, a petit larceny charge will be treated as a felony with consequences ranging from several months to several years in jail. In addition, if you have prior convictions you are less likely to receive any probationary period or alternative sentencing, so the likelihood of being convicted is high.

How an Attorney Can Help

A lawyer working with a client charged with theft is going to attempt to educate the client regarding the possible outcomes of the case. A theft lawyer in the Richmond area will speak to the client about ways to help mitigate the punishment and guide them through the system to prepare a defense to argue the case or negotiate a suitable resolution with the prosecutors.

A Richmond theft attorney can provide a great deal of support for a person facing theft charges. They can show them what steps to take to help mitigate the punishment, such as taking a shoplifting class or counseling for substance abuse if it is an underlying issue. They can also help them prepare a defense, educate them on the law, and also prepare them for any penalties they may be facing.

When Should a Person Charged With Theft Contact a Lawyer?

A person charged with theft in Richmond should contact a lawyer almost immediately after they are charged. They want to start preparing their defense and efforts toward mitigation as soon as possible.

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