FAIRFAX ATTORNEY FIGHTING FOR CLIENTS ACCUSED OF THEFT CRIMES
The law in Virginia uses the term “larceny” to refer to all theft and theft-related crimes. Larceny offenses are categorized according to the value of the cash, services, or property involved.
Petit larceny (petty theft) is the lowest level of larceny in Virginia law. It is the theft of cash, property, or services valued at less than $200, or the theft of property valued at less than $5 when stolen directly from another person.
Petit larceny in Virginia is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable upon conviction by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
WHAT IS “GRAND” LARCENY?
Grand larceny occurs in this state when a person steals a firearm, steals cash, property, or services valued at more than $200, or steals cash or property valued at $5 or more directly from another person.
Grand larceny may be considered a felony or a misdemeanor. That determination is left to judges and juries. A misdemeanor grand larceny conviction is punishable with up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. A felony conviction is punishable with a 1-to-20-year prison term.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR SECOND AND SUBSEQUENT CONVICTIONS?
The penalties cited above are for first larceny offenses. If a defendant is convicted for any larceny crime in Virginia and has a previous larceny conviction – even in another state – the penalty is thirty days to 12 months in jail, along with fines and other possible penalties.
A third larceny offense is charged as a Class 6 felony, and a conviction is punishable with up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
Conspiring to commit larceny or helping another person to commit larceny involving cash, property, or services valued at more than $500 is a felony punishable upon conviction with a 1-to-20-year prison term.
WHAT ARE THE OTHER CONSEQUENCES OF A LARCENY CONVICTION?
Larceny defendants should also be aware of the extra-legal ramifications of a larceny conviction.
Many employers simply will not retain or hire a person who has a recent conviction for any theft-related crime. If you are a student, a larceny conviction may disqualify you for scholarships and other financial assistance.
If you hold a professional license in Virginia, your licensing board may act to revoke or suspend your professional license after a larceny conviction. If you are an immigrant, a felony grand larceny conviction may prompt immigration authorities to initiate a deportation proceeding.
HOW IS SHOPLIFTING DEALT WITH IN VIRGINIA?
Along with the criminal penalties for a larceny conviction, a shoplifting offender in Virginia may be sued in civil court by the retailer for:
- Twice the retail value of the shoplifted merchandise or $50 – whichever is greater. However, if the retailer recovers the shoplifted property undamaged, the civil penalty may not exceed a total of $350.
- The retailer’s attorney’s fee and court costs up to $150
COULD YOU BE WRONGLY ACCUSED OF LARCENY?
In 2018, more than 115,000 thefts were reported in Virginia, and that figure does not include another 10,000-plus vehicle thefts. With so much theft activity, an innocent person could easily wind up facing a larceny charge in the Fairfax area.
But whether you are completely innocent of larceny or guilty as charged, you cannot afford to be represented by the wrong Fairfax theft attorney. Even if you in fact committed a theft, your freedom and your future should not be threatened because of a single instance of poor judgment.
If you are charged with larceny, it is vital to know and to exercise your legal rights. Do not answer any questions asked by the police. You have the right to remain silent, and anything you say – anything – could be twisted and used against you. You also have the right to an attorney.
WHAT DEFENSES MAY BE OFFERED AGAINST A LARCENY CHARGE?
In many larceny cases, the right defense attorney may be able to help you avoid a conviction. After reviewing the details of a larceny charge, your defense attorney might offer one of these defenses on your behalf:
- You believed that you legally owned or had a right to the cash or property in question.
- You were misidentified, and someone else is guilty of committing larceny.
- The theft allegation was fabricated, and no theft actually took place.
Since 2000, Fairfax theft attorney Scott C. Nolan has aggressively represented clients who have been accused of larceny in Northern Virginia. He can examine the details of the charge against you and offer an appropriate and effective defense on your behalf.
Scott C. Nolan has defended thousands of clients accused of serious crimes, and he has established a reputation for legal excellence. Contact his law offices to learn more – or to obtain the help you need if you are facing a larceny charge in the Fairfax area.