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Virginia Larceny/Theft Charges

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Larceny/Theft Criminal Charges in Virginia

Larceny, theft, or shoplifting charges in Virginia can carry significant consequences to those convicted. A conviction for shoplifting, or larceny as it is referred to in Virginia, can not only carry a jail sentence and a fine, but can make it difficult for a person to find employment or be admitted into secondary education programs, maintain or secure a security clearance, and disqualify one from housing opportunities. What may appear to be a relatively minor problem can cause significant harm down the road if the legal consequences of a theft charge are not considered carefully and correctly resolved. You should retain an experienced Virginia defense attorney who not only understands how to fight your Virginia larceny charge, but who understands how to negotiate all available options to avoid a larceny conviction and the perils of a resulting criminal record.

The crime of larceny has 3 elements:

1. The taking of property belonging to another

2. With the intent to permanently deprive the person of that property

3. Without that person’s consent.

Petit Larceny vs. Grand Larceny

· Petit Larceny – Misdemeanor

As of July 1, 2020, petit larceny is the stealing of anything valued at less than $1,000. This amount is from a new law set to take effect on July 1, 2020. For any larcenies charged July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2020, the limit for petit larceny is less than $500.

Petit larceny is punishable by up to 12 months in jail or a $2,500 fine.

· Grand Larceny – Felony

As of July 1, 2020, the stealing of any property valued at over $1,000 is classified as grand larceny, a Virginia felony offense. If the offense was committed between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2020

Grand larceny is punishable by up to 20 years in jail.

· Larceny Third in 10 years – Felony

If someone is charged with having committed a third larceny, with two prior larceny convictions within 10 years, that person will be charged with felony larceny. The harsh part of being charged with felony larceny is that it does not matter if the prior larcenies were either petit larceny or grand larceny. Any third larceny, whether it is grand

larceny or minor petit larceny, will qualify as felony larceny. This is a perfect example that every larceny counts, and someone charged with any larceny should take the charge seriously, hire effective counsel, and not take the charge for granted, no matter how mall or insignificant it may seem.

Felony Larceny in Virginia is classified as a Class 6 felony and is punishable by up to 5 years in jail.

Concealment Counts as Larceny

Concealment is the act of concealing, or hiding, merchandise or items while they are still in the store. This may mean putting something in a purse, a pocket, or jacket, or in a cart brought from another store. If the item is concealed, meaning it can no longer be seen by a store employee or shopkeeper, Virginia law says that is sufficient to show that a person intended to steal those items.

Concealment can occur even if a person has not left the store. Simply walking through an aisle and placing something in a bag may be enough to conceal the item and commit the act of larceny. Store employees, loss prevention officers and police can often be very aggressive in charging something with larceny for concealing in a store. However, mistakes happen. If someone mistakenly placed something in a bag or placed an item in their pocket even though they planned on paying for that item, they will need an experienced and aggressive Virginia larceny attorney to fight the charge and argue that they did not have the intent to commit larceny.

Defenses to Larceny

Larceny can be a very nuanced crime because it depends on the intent, or the state of mind, of the person committing the offense. Every case is different, but there are always arguments, strategies, and defenses available to fight any larceny charge and to succeed. This means getting an acquittal, a reduced charge, or keeping your record clear of any theft-related offenses.

KGO’s Virginia criminal attorneys have successfully defended and represented hundreds of clients facing larceny charges in Virginia. We have helped many clients receive complete exonerations and not guilty verdicts of their larceny charges in front of judges and juries. Each case was very different, requiring a unique strategy and outlook. Your case and your situation is no different. You need and deserve a top-rated defense. We can help.

Call (703) 988-3711 or email us today to schedule a free consultation about your Virginia larceny case and learn how we can help.

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