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Stafford County Theft Penalties

Stafford County takes theft crimes seriously. Stafford County theft penalties vary, but if an individual faces felony theft charges, the penalties they face could have long-lasting repercussions. That is why the assistance of a lawyer can be an invaluable asset. A determined lawyer can look at the facts of your case and try to craft a solid defense but can also try and mitigate the penalties that you do face.

Consequences of Misdemeanor Theft Charges

A misdemeanor theft charge has a number of potential Stafford County theft penalties. Class 1 misdemeanors including theft charges carry up to one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

The typical theft case does not usually result in a year of active jail time unless the person has a significant criminal record. However, there is a trend among the jurisdictions in Virginia including Stafford County to give active jail time for theft charges, even for a first offense.

In addition, fines up to $2,500 can be imposed. Restitution may be required when any of the items are not resalable. Courts can order probation for one year or more.

There are also the unintended consequences or the consequences outside of court such as the stigma of having a conviction of that nature. Having a misdemeanor conviction on one’s record can make it difficult to find work in the future.

Consequences of Felony Theft Charges

Felony theft charges carry additional consequences that are much more serious. First, having a felony conviction can be the worst thing that results from a felony theft charge. Being a felon means the loss of the person’s civil rights such as the ability to possess a firearm, along with all of the other Stafford County theft penalties.

It also means the person is going be difficult to hire. Most companies do not hire someone with a felony record, particularly when it is a felony record for theft. Theft charges are felonies that can be punishable by prison sentences measured in years depending on the severity of the charge and the person’s record.

What is the harshest penalty that a person might experience if convicted of theft?

Most theft charges are Class 6 felonies and are punishable by up to five years in prison. When a person receives a single count of felony theft they might be looking at five years in a worst-case scenario. It is not unusual however for a person to be charged with multiple counts. The number of counts the person is charged with, multiplied by five, is their worst-case scenario.

How Prior Criminal Convictions Affect Someone

Prior criminal convictions factor in a number of ways. The first one is even if a person was convicted of only a misdemeanor theft, a third misdemeanor or third petty larceny in Virginia is considered a felony.

A person can become a felon without crossing the threshold of stealing something worth $200 or more. In addition, the person’s record can also be considered for sentencing purposes in a felony. In Virginia, when a person is convicted of a felony or pleads guilty to a felony, the court must consider the Virginia sentencing guidelines.

One of the big factors under those guidelines that scores a person higher on the guidelines is when the individual has prior criminal conviction history.

Probationary Options

When someone is convicted of a theft charge, it is likely that they are placed on probation. Sometimes an agreement can be worked out where a person may be placed on probation that is called a disposition rather a conviction when someone is charged with a theft charge.

That is not guaranteed and is not common in Stafford County. It is offered when there is a weakness in the government’s case and compromises are needed to resolve it.

Probation is available but a person needs the help of experienced counsel to obtain that outcome. A capable theft lawyer can help you pursue probation, and can help mitigate any other Stafford County theft penalties you face.

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