Being arrested and charged with a misdemeanor or felony theft is very serious and could have long-lasting implications for your future. This is why it is critical to speak with an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. At Williams Stone Carpenter Buczek, PC, we defend individuals accused of theft crimes throughout Northern Virginia. The sooner we speak, the sooner we can begin building a personalized case strategy to reduce or eliminate your charges.
Common Theft Charges in Virginia
Shoplifting is the crime most people envision when they hear someone is facing a charge of theft. However, there are many different crimes that fall under the umbrella category of “theft charges” in Virginia. Our firm can help defend you against any and all forms of theft crimes, including:
- Robbery or burglary
- Receiving stolen property
- Theft of personal property using force
- Identity theft
- White collar crimes such as embezzlement
- Larceny of animals or poultry
- Stolen bank notes or checks
- Unauthorized use of an animal, vehicle, boat or aircraft
- Theft or destruction of public records
The potential penalties you could face will depend upon the specific circumstances of your case. For example, someone who falsely charges thousands of dollars to someone else’s credit card will face more severe penalties than someone who allegedly stole a $20 DVD. Our goal, regardless of your situation, is to secure the best possible outcome. This helps to ensure that your criminal case will have as little impact on your future as possible.
An Overview of Larceny in Virginia
In Virginia, larceny is further divided into a few different categories, including grand & petit larceny, larceny of animals & poultry, conspiracy to commit larceny and larceny with the intent to sell or distribute stolen goods. Charges one may face will depend on the value of items stolen, how the goods were taken and what kind of item it was. At Williams Stone Carpenter Buczek, PC, we can explain to you the penalties one may face in further detail. In general, Virginia law states the following:
- Grand larceny is the theft of something worth $5 or more from a person directly, stealing at least $200 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 $200 worth of items or goods from any location.
Penalties for Grand and Petit Larceny
If convicted of grand larceny, one may face up to 20 years in prison as a maximum penalty. Virginia law also gives juries and judges the discretion to punish grand larceny as a misdemeanor, which is more common for those with no previous criminal record or if the value of the property stolen is valued at only slightly above $200. If one is convicted of a misdemeanor, then the offender will be confined in jail for no more than 12 months, be ordered to pay a fine of not more than $2,500, or both.
Petit larceny is a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a possible sentence of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. If, however, you have a prior conviction from any jurisdiction for a similar offense you will face 30 days to 12 months in jail. Two prior such convictions increase 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.
Can I Beat A Larceny or Theft Charge?
The answer to this question lies around several factors. When one challenges a charge of larceny, the focus is often centered around “intent”. If the prosecution cannot prove that you intended to steal something, and it wasn’t accidental or an oversight on your part.
With cases of receiving stolen property, the prosecution must be able to prove that you knew about the items being stolen.
It is also possible to challenge the overall value of the items stolen. If the property in question is determined that the value is less than $200, a misdemeanor charge is likely and your penalties much less severe. Reducing a charge of grand larceny to petty larceny in other words.
Other Possible Punishment for Theft Convictions
At Williams Stone Carpenter Buczek, PC, we always believe you need to be aware of potential consequences you may face. In the case of theft, our attorneys will work hard to mitigate any damage or fallout stemming from a theft conviction, however, the following may still apply if found guilty:
- As mentioned above, grand larceny is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. You may face only up to 12 months in jail and/or pay a fine $2,500 at the sole discretion of judge and jury.
- If convicted of petit larceny, you may be looking at 30 days to 12 months in jail or just a fine of $2,000 for a first petit larceny conviction. If you have a prior petit larceny conviction on your record, you face a Class 6 felony and could receive an extended prison term.
- If convicted of larceny of certain animals whereas the value is more than $200, the same applies as mentioned with grand larceny above.
- Carjacking may result in 15 years to life in prison.
- If convicted of robbery, you may be sentenced to at least (5) years in prison.
- Burglary in Virginia is a class 3 felony, which brings five to 20 years in prison along with a large fine. If a deadly weapon was used during the burglary, you will likely face more severe consequences.
Contact WSCB Attorneys Today
Our attorneys are committed to providing their clients with exceptional service that is aimed at getting the results they need. We offer personalized service & will work directly with you from the beginning of your case to the end.
We have convenient office locations in Stafford & Manassas that are set up to privately discuss your situation. Call or email us to schedule your consultation today.