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Vienna Shoplifting Lawyer

Shoplifting and larceny are treated similarly in Vienna. There are more ways to be convicted of shoplifting in Vienna than there are with petty larceny, but shoplifting is a type of petty larceny. Shoplifting could be concealing or altering tags, for example, in addition to the carrying away of the item. Larceny is defined as taking away or concealing items of value with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of the item. Whether the amount of the items taken is over $200 or less than $200 will dictate how you are charged.

Shoplifting is colloquialism; legally, shoplifting is charged as either petty larceny, grand larceny, or concealing or altering merchandise, depending on the circumstances of the case. A conviction for this charge includes the stigmas that are inherent with the conviction, including a negative impact on future employment, a loss of rights if the amount of the theft would make it a felony offense, and potential incarceration.

For this reason, a person that is charged with shoplifting should hire a Vienna theft attorney immediately in order to reduce, or even avoid, the penalties that can result from a conviction.

Possible Penalties

The penalties following a shoplifting conviction in Vienna will depend on the facts of the case and the amount of the item that the person is convicted of taking. For example, shoplifting an item valued at less than $200 would result in fines up to $2,500 and up to 12 months in jail. In the alternative, shoplifting an item valued at more than $200 may be treated as a felony. The penalty for a felony could be years in prison and a much higher fine.

Second-Time Offense

The consequences for shoplifting differ for a second-time offender because first-time offenders might receive leniency from the court or from the prosecutor solely because they are a first-time offender. If a person has been convicted of this type of crime a second time, the court will view it as a willful act and neither the prosecutor nor the judge is likely to be lenient.

For a second offense, they will sentence a person with a harsher penalty. After a first offense, the sentence will be an attempt to teach the person a lesson while focusing on how to keep them from engaging in similar behavior again. To that end, the court will be harsh enough that the person will not be able to or want to do this in the future.

Prosecution in Vienna

For a person to be convicted of a shoplifting charge in Vienna, the prosecutor has to prove each element of the offense. The elements require the person to act willfully, act without the authority to remove the merchandise from the facility, and have the intention to convert the merchandise to their own use without paying for it. The prosecutor would also have to prove the value of the goods taken.

Hiring a Local Attorney

A person that is charged with shoplifting in Vienna should hire a local defense attorney, because they are going to know the customs and quirks of the courts in Vienna, which is important since each judge and prosecutor has a different approach to a case. The overall movement of a person’s case, the way a case progresses, and the method for hearing motions can vary based on the practices and customs of individual courts, and Vienna is not an exception to that.

For example, Vienna has its own ways of filing motions, giving notice, getting information about a case to the appropriate party, and getting discovery. Hiring a local attorney is advantageous because that attorney will know how to get the information that they need, who they talk to about the information, and how to negotiate and advocate on someone’s behalf.