Virginia Robbery Attorney
If you have been accused of taking something from someone by force or if such charges have been formally levied against you, it is in your best interest to contact a robbery lawyer who has a strong record of successful defense against such cases in the Commonwealth of Virginia. By hiring an aggressive and well-qualified criminal defense attorney, you will place yourself in the best possible position for a successful outcome in your case. For an overview of the benefits of a strong Virginia robbery lawyer, please refer to the following page. For answers to your specific question, contact Thomas Soldan and his associates today.
What Constitutes Robbery in Virginia?
Virginia defines theft-related offenses into three general categories: larceny, robbery and burglary. In the Commonwealth, Robbery is a felony offense that requires someone to have committed a theft and also a crime of violence, or a threat of violence, to be sustained. According to Section 18.2-58, an individual may be found guilty of the offense of robbery if they rob a person of good or money through:
- Violence, including choking, beating, striking, to the victim, or;
- Assault, such as putting the victim in fear of serious bodily harm, or;
- Threatening to use or brandishing a deadly weapon, such as a gun.
Due to the serious nature of the crime and its general classification as a violent offense, robbery convictions can result in severe legal penalties ranging from five years to life in prison.
- Building a Defense For Robbery Charges in Virginia
- Penalties For Robbery in Virginia
- What to Expect From Robbery Charges in Virginia
What Defines Carjacking in Virginia?
Another violent theft-related offense is carjacking, which is defined in Code Section 18.2-58.1. According to the Commonwealth, carjacking is a more serious offense than robbery but it applies if the theft involved a person’s motor vehicle. You may be found guilty of carjacking, which is also a felony offense, if it is proved that you intentionally stole another persons’ car or took control of their car with the “intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the person of the person’s vehicle.” Again, violence or the threat of serious violence must be present.
Penalties associated with carjacking are particularly severe, and include a term of 15 years to life in prison. It’s important to note that being charged with carjacking does not preclude you from being charged with other offenses related to your alleged conduct. This means that if you are convicted on multiple counts, you could face far more prison time. A qualified Virginia robbery defense attorney can explain these penalties in detail to you.
How is Theft Different from Robbery in VA?
Many people assume the terms theft and robbery mean the same thing. That is not the case. As noted above, robbery is a serious felony offense that alleges violence or threats of great violence. Many theft-related charges, such as burglary and larceny, do not contain these alleged elements and are based upon other factors, such as the amount of money or value of the items stolen.
Essentially, robbery is a larceny offense that’s aggravated by the threat of physical force or physical violence, or actual force and that taking was in the presence of another person. So whenever the victim is present and there’s violence, intimidation or the threat of violence that makes the situation much more serious and it is what distinguishes robbery from regular theft.
In the Commonwealth, the crime of larceny is divided into two categories, grand larceny and petit (pronounced petite) larceny.
According to Section 18.2-95 you may be found guilty of grand larceny if you:
- Steal something worth at least $5 from another person directly, or:
- Steal at least $200 worth of goods or items, or:
- Steal a gun of any value.
Grand larceny, like Robbery, is a felony offense in Virginia and as such it carries the possibility of one to 20 years in prison. This term, however, can be lessened at the discretion of either the judge or a jury to a term of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500. Contact a Virginia robbery lawyer to take your through the details of your case and defense.
Petit larceny is a Class 1 misdemeanor and can result in up to 12 months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. If, however, you have a prior conviction from any jurisdiction for any offense that can qualify as larceny, you will face 30 days to 12 months in jail. If a person has at least two prior larceny convictions on their record, the criminal offense rises to the level of a Class 6 felony and may face one to five years in prison or, at the discretion of the court or a jury, lesser penalties of up to 12 months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.
According to Section 18.2-96, a person may be found guilty of petit larceny if they:
- Steal something worth less than $5 from someone’s person, or;
- Steal less than $200 worth of items, excluding firearms, from any location.
For more on theft related charges, please click here.