Theft is unlawful taking away of someone else’s property with the intention to permanently deprive the lawful owner of their property. Shoplifting, specifically, is when an individual commits a theft offense from a business.
If a person conceals merchandise and they alter tags on the merchandise, that falls within the definition of theft as well but it is a subsection of the theft that people commonly refer to as shoplifting. Shoplifting charges can have serious consequences, so it is important to fight them early on with the help of a skilled Spotsylvania shoplifting lawyer. An experienced theft attorney can help to build a strong defense for your case.
There is only one law concerning shoplifting and it is petit larceny. Everything else about petit larceny is actually defined by case law, not by statutes. But typically, it has been narrowed down by case law in Virginia so it is specific to Virginia. What it usually comes down to is a determination of at what point is someone considered to be actually carrying something away.
In Virginia, that point is usually past the registers, not even out of the store. There will be a determination of at what point someone is considered to be concealing the item and for what purpose. The person has to show intent to deprive the store of that item. A Spotsylvania shoplifting lawyer can help to defend their client’s intentions.
The prosecution is going to need to prove all the elements of whatever specific subsection an individual has been accused of. If a person is accused of concealing or altering merchandise tags and then walking out with that, they are going to need to show that the person was actually the one that did that. They are going to need to show, additionally, that the person had the intention of using that as the actual price and taking the item away.
If a person is being accused of plain shoplifting, it is that the person actually passed the point of sale, that they took it without the owner’s permission and without paying the amount for it. Proving a violation of shoplifting laws in Spotsylvania depends on the specific subsection that a person is going to be charged with.
For a shoplifting conviction, the potential penalties would be the same as they are for a petit larceny conviction. Petit larceny penalties can be up to 12 months in jail and/or to a $2,500 fine. When deciding the penalty for shoplifting, everything from the amount of jail time to the amount of money they are fined is going to depend on a person’s record and on the circumstances surrounding the arrest and the shoplifting offense.
The penalty for shoplifting would also be elevated to a felony if somebody takes an item property valued at $200 or more. Shoplifting penalties can elevate to a felony charge if the taken item in question passes the $200 threshold, there was use of force or the taking was from another person.
For a second-time offender in Spotsylvania, the shoplifting penalties will differ because the prosecution immediately considers active jail time. The individual is going to be looking at active jail time and potentially the maximum fine.
Somebody who is accused of shoplifting in Spotsylvania will want to hire a Spotsylvania shoplifting attorney, because it is an offense that can often be resolved in an informal way, or a first offender’s way, but that is only if the attorney has a good relationship with the prosecutor and with the judges, and that attorney will be able to know what a person’s options are in that specific jurisdiction.
Spotsylvania is different from the other counties in Northern Virginia and Middle Virginia area and it is important to have a skilled Spotsylvania shoplifting lawyer who is familiar with those judges and who will know what they will do and who knows what the prosecution wants in order to get the best possible resolution for them.
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