Virginia Theft Attorney
The Commonwealth of Virginia defines theft as a property crime that entails the taking of money or goods and essentially depriving the rightful owner of their property. Conviction of even a misdemeanor theft charge can result in fines and up to a year in jail. The crime of theft, however, encompasses a great many offenses in Virginia. This range from a first offense of misdemeanor shoplifting to more serious offenses, including felony robbery and grand larceny. If you are facing a Virginia theft charge, you should seek the counsel of a dedicated and experienced Virginia theft lawyer. There are a variety of theft charges, including:
- Petit Larceny (value up to $5 off someone’s person, or value up to $500 otherwise)
- Grand Larceny (value over $5 off someone’s person, or value over $500 otherwise)
- Identity Theft
- Credit card fraud
- Auto Theft
Robbery is a separate offense that involves the use or threat of violence in addition to the theft. To learn more about robbery charges in Virginia and how a Virginia robbery attorney can help, look here.
- Evidence Used to Prosecute Larceny Cases
- What to Expect From Larceny Charges in Virginia
- Firm’s Approach to Theft Cases
- Why Hire An Attorney For Larceny Cases
Technology: Identity Theft and Credit Card Theft
Technology has made theft much easier now than it has ever been before. There are two major types of theft that have been aided by technology: credit card and identity thefts. We use the Internet to buy so many things, and consequently our credit card numbers and the expiration dates that are typically used as identification are more vulnerable than they have ever been. Computers and internet browsers have the ability to save information to make things easier for you when you want to get things done fast. But that also means that it is easier for criminals to access your information.
Identity theft is subject to many of the same pitfalls as credit card theft. Much of our financial information is located on computers and other wireless devices. While that has made things much easier for us as we manage our finances and other tasks, it also means that hackers and computer experts can gain access to our personal information, from social security numbers to bank accounts, and beyond. This may also mean that there is a greater chance that you could commit an act that constitutes identity or credit card theft without intending to do so…
Larceny in Virginia
Larceny is further divided into various subcategories including Grand and Petit Larceny, Larceny of Certain Animals and Poultry, Conspiracy to Commit Larceny, and Larceny with the Intent to Sell or Distribute stolen goods. The charge you may face depends on the value of the item or items stolen, how the items were taken (either directly from a person or otherwise) and the type of item, such as a gun. Although a Virginia theft lawyer can explain the likely penalties in greater detail, the law states that:
- Grand Larceny involves the theft of something worth $5 or more from a person directly, stealing at least $500 worth of goods, or stealing a gun, no matter the value of the gun.
- Petit larceny is defined as the theft of something worth less than $5 from a person, or stealing less than $500 worth of items or goods from any location.
Grand larceny is a felony and can result in one to 20 years in prison unless the court or a jury decides to impose lesser penalties. Those penalties can include up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500.
Petit Larceny is a Class 1 misdemeanor which carries a possible sentence of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. If, however, you have prior conviction from any jurisdiction for a similar offense you will face 30 days to 12 months in jail. Two prior such convictions increases the crime to a Class 6 felony and the penalty jumps to one to five years in prison or at the discretion of the judge or jury, 12 months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.
Conspiring to Commit Larceny
Conspiring to commit larceny, including counseling or helping another person commit such a crime, involving goods worth more than $500 can result in conviction of this felony crime. Such an offense can result in one to 20 years in prison. It is important to note that if you are within a store or business and you are accused of intentionally concealing goods or merchandise, this can be considered evidence of intent to steal the items. See Section 18.2-23(B). Conspiracy is a complex crime for the State to prove, and a Virginia theft attorney can explain the elements the government needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
Intent to Sell or Distribute
Those who steal at least $500 worth of items with the plan, or intention, of selling or distributing the stolen goods at a later time will face felony conviction and a prison term of one to 20 years. Somewhat similar to this charge is the offense of Selling Stolen Goods. It falls under the same subsection and that states that anyone who sells stolen items worth at least $500, and who knew the property was stolen, or who should have known the property was stolen, is guilty of Selling Stolen Property. You can be found guilty even if you only tried to sell the goods or possess the stolen items, as long as the state can prove you had the intention of selling it. Selling stolen goods is a Class 5 felony in Virginia, and can result in one to 10 years in prison. You may qualify for a lesser term of one year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine at the discretion of the judge or jury.
By: Jacob D.
Mr. Woolley was very professional and effective in handling my case!