Loudoun Theft Lawyer
Theft crimes involve the taking of property, goods, or money away from the rightful owner. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, even punishment for shoplifting a two dollar bag of candy from a grocery store can incur penalties as severe as 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. If you pick someone’s pocket and only get five dollars, you could still be charged with a felony offense because you technically “robbed” someone. Credit card theft is also considered a felony, even if the stolen card was never used to purchase anything. These are just a few examples of why those charged with any larceny or theft-related offense in Virginia should speak to an experienced Loudoun County theft attorney no matter how harmless the crime might seem. Any theft conviction can have long-term negative impacts on your criminal record and your life.
It all Begins with Larceny
Theft of any property worth less than $200 is considered petit larceny. Petit larceny is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Though it is only a misdemeanor offense, a conviction would go on your criminal record and you would have to admit that conviction to future employers, for example. Further, a third or subsequent petit larceny charge raises the stakes to a potential felony.
Grand larceny, the theft of any items totaling $200 or more, is a more serious felony theft offense. Those who are convicted of grand larceny could receive up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. Jail sentences and fines for first offenders tend to be less serious that second or subsequent offenders, but there are still negative consequences associated with a conviction. Aside from the jail time and expensive fines, convicted felons also face the following consequences:
- Lose their right to vote and own a firearm;
- Difficulty finding new employment;
- Difficulty gaining admission to universities or colleges; and
- Inability to gain or keep security clearances.
Since criminal records are part of a person’s credit history, those convicted of a felony offense may also experience difficulty getting approved for financial loans.
Felony convictions are permanent in Virginia, meaning that they cannot be expunged or sealed. However, depending on circumstances, some felony theft charges can be reduced to misdemeanors or even dismissed altogether. A skilled theft attorney can help you explore those options as part of your defense strategy.
Burglary and Robbery Charges in Loudoun County
Burglary is more serious than simple larceny and is defined by the offender’s intent to commit the crime of theft upon entering a building or dwelling without permission. In addition, if a burglar has a weapon when committing the crime, the offense is elevated to aggravated burglary, which is a Class 2 felony. Burglary offenses are punishable by anywhere from one to 20 years in a state correctional facility and a fine of up to $2,500.
Robbery is taking any item of value from another person using violence, threat, or intimidation. Virginia is especially tough on robbery suspects; the punishment for a robbery conviction includes a jail sentence of five years to life. However, robbery offenses are also difficult to prosecute because witness identification is often vital to getting a conviction. That does not, however, mean that a robbery charge should be taken lightly as it is an extremely serious offense.
A Seasoned Loudoun County Theft Lawyer Can Protect You
There are many different types of theft offenses with which you could be charged in the Commonwealth of Virginia. These offenses become more serious if weapons or violence are involved in the commission of the crime, but penalties can be steep no matter what the details of the case may be. Whether they are charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, all theft-related charges are viewed as crimes of moral turpitude; those that involve lying, cheating, and stealing. Thus, they are looked at with great scorn by judges, juries, and society.
If you are facing theft charges, experienced Loudoun County theft lawyer Thomas Soldan and his skilled team of defense attorneys believe that you deserve the right to seasoned legal defense. Contact his law office today for a free case evaluation during which we will review the charges, listen to your side of the story, and detail your best defense options.