Are you facing larceny charges in Virginia? It is critical to understand how larceny charges work in Virginia, and to learn more about the specific charges you are facing. No matter what type of larceny charges you are currently facing, you should have an aggressive Virginia criminal defense attorney on your side who can develop a defense strategy to help you win your case. Larceny convictions, as we will discuss below, can have serious and long-lasting consequences. A theft defense lawyer can help. In the meantime, the following are five things to know about larceny charges in Virginia.
- Larceny is the Term Used to Describe Different Types of Theft Offenses in Virginia
It is important to understand that there is no overarching “theft” offense in Virginia. Instead, Virginia uses the term larceny to describe different kinds of theft offenses. Those types of theft or larceny charges can vary widely, from theft of store merchandise to theft of bank notes to theft of a firearm.
- Larceny Can Be Charged as Grand Larceny or Petit Larceny
Under Virginia law, larceny offenses broadly can be charged as either grand larceny (Code of Va. § 18.2-95) or petit larceny (Code of Va. § 18.2-96). Grand larceny is used to charge most types of theft offenses where the value of the property is worth $1,000 or more. Virginia law used to charge offenses as grand larceny when the property was valued at only $500 or more, but the law changed relatively recently. Petit larceny, then, is charged when property valued at less than $1,000 is stolen or when a person allegedly attempts to steal that property.
- Shoplifting is a Form of Larceny That Can Be Charged as Grand or Petit Larceny Depending Upon the Property Value in Question
Shoplifting is a specific kind of larceny offense that can be charged as grand larceny or petit larceny depending upon the value of the property shoplifted. Under Virginia law, shoplifting (Code of Va. § 18.2-103) typically involves the “concealing or taking possession of merchandise” from a retail establishment.
- Theft of a Firearm is Typically a Felony Offense
It is important to know that, under Virginia law, theft of a firearm is not typically charged based on the value of the firearm that is stolen. Instead, in most cases, theft of a firearm will be charged as a felony offense. For first-time offenders, the court does have discretion to charge a lesser offense, so it will be critical to seek advice about your defense from a Fairfax defense attorney.
- Penalties for Both Petit and Grand Larceny Can Include a Term of Imprisonment
While petit larceny is a lesser offense than grand larceny, it is critical to understand that petit larceny is still a Class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia law. Class 1 misdemeanors are still extremely serious, and anyone who is convicted of a first-offense for petit larceny can face a monetary fine of up to $2,500 and a jail term of up to one year. In addition to the jail term and fine, you will have a criminal record that can limit your ability to be employed in certain jobs or to be eligible for certain types of credit. Grand larceny has much more serious consequences. Grand larceny is a felony offense, and in addition to a substantial fine, you can face a term of imprisonment of anywhere from 1 to 20 years.
Contact a Fairfax Theft Defense Attorney
When you need assistance developing a defense strategy to beat the larceny charges you are facing, one of the experienced Fairfax criminal defense attorneys at our firm can discuss your case with you. Contact Leary Law to learn more about the services we provide to clients who are facing theft and other criminal charges in Virginia.