Stafford County Theft Attorney
Theft crimes in Stafford County, Virginia cover a broad range of offenses that can range from misdemeanor shoplifting to white-collar felonies that involve millions of dollars. The value of the goods or money taken, and the manner in which they were taken or attempted to be taken determine the precise nature and severity of the theft offense.
Theft is considered a crime of “moral turpitude,” which means that any such conviction can have long-lasting effects on your employability, personal reputation, and ability to maintain certain licenses, in addition to the possibility of incarceration. Having a seasoned Stafford County theft lawyer representing you is the best way to achieve the best possible outcome to any of the following Virginia theft charges.
In Virginia, Petit (often called “petty”) Larceny is the taking of goods or money valued at less than $200 (Virginia Code Section 18.2-96). As a class 1 misdemeanor, a conviction can bring up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, or some combination thereof. Depending on the specific facts and circumstances of your charge, the jurisdiction in which you were charged, and your background, it may be possible to achieve an outcome that does not result in a conviction for the crime of petit larceny. Again, such an outcome is highly case and jurisdiction specific, so be sure to discuss all options and defenses you may have at your free initial consultation with a Stafford County theft attorney.
This felony charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison (Virginia Code Section 18.2-95). In Virginia, theft of goods or services over $200 elevates grand larceny to an unclassified felony above the simple misdemeanor level.. The Commonwealth still has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt all of the elements of the particular larceny offense, for instance the intent to permanently deprive the owner of goods, cash or services in the example of grand larceny, but the level of investigation and attention paid to such prosecutors is much more sophisticated because of the high stakes.
Grand larceny cases may involve video evidence, paper trails, fingerprints, and even DNA evidence, along with testimony from eyewitnesses. An experienced criminal defense law firm may be able to challenge the evidence against you, beginning with the discovery phase of your case, and successfully question its legitimacy to the point that the charge is reduced or dismissed. The earlier your defense team begins its work, the better chance of developing a clear path for success while preserving all relevant evidence.
Embezzlement and Other White-Collar Crimes
The distinction between traditional larceny and embezzlement is subtle but critical. It surrounds the issue of whether the defendant had the right to use the stolen items and, if so, to what degree. Many larceny charges relate to allegations of employee theft, which is why a skilled theft lawyer in Stafford County is needed in order to apply this critical difference to an effective defense.
Robbery and Burglary
The Code of Virginia does not specifically define robbery as it is a common law offense with its origins going back to the application of English common law. Instead of defined statutes, years of case law shape how Virginia defines robbery and what must be proven to prevail in a robbery case . Thus, robbery and burglary, in and of themselves, are pretty straightforward. But it’s the circumstances surrounding the offense that make different punishments fit specific charges, such as:
- Was a weapon present, and if so, to what degree was it used?
- Was the victim assaulted – either with or without a weapon – and if so, how seriously was the victim wounded?
- Were other crimes committed in addition to the robbery and burglary, and if so, were they felonies or misdemeanors?
Although the larceny rules governing value of the goods or money stolen in a robbery or burglary have some bearing on the charges, they often take a back seat to any underlying elements that may accompany a robbery or burglary and elevate the severity of the alleged offense.
How Can a Stafford County Theft Attorney Help?
In addition to jail time and a conviction for a crime of moral turpitude, theft-related crimes may require payment of restitution to the victim. Theft convictions may also hinder your ability to obtain and maintain employment, your immigration status in this country, and your ability to obtain and maintain certain professional licenses.
The theft defense lawyers at our firm can be your strongest advocates. We work tirelessly to make sure that you receive fair treatment by the courts, and advocate for the most positive results possible. And though a complete dismissal of theft charges isn’t always possible, your attorney can work with the prosecutor to come to a mutually beneficial plea agreement, possibly mitigating many, if not all, of your most serious concerns about a theft conviction.
The best way to know what can be done is through a free case evaluation. Contact us to learn your options and possible defenses. We can help.