Theft Penalties in Dumfries
Being charged with theft can produce burdening life-long consequences. A theft conviction can prevent one from keeping their current job, getting a job or loan in the future, and maintaining a positive standing in their community. A theft charge, no matter misdemeanor or felony, is one which requires both careful and immediate attention in order to prevent any unnecessary hardships. The accused should be aware of any and all possible options for their specific case, which is why it is extremely important to contact an experienced Dumfries theft lawyer as soon as possible.
There are a number of possible penalties associated with theft charges. These charges include:
- Restitution payments
- Loss of employment
- Inability to get a job in the future
Misdemeanor Theft Charge
The greatest theft penalty possible on any kind of misdemeanor is a sentence of one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Although with most jurisdictions, the first time theft charge will not come with an active jail sentence, Dumfries frequently imposes an active jail sentence on the first offense. This is set by the prosecution, and in many cases is imposed by the judges.
Felony Theft Charge
Felony charges can come with significant amounts of incarceration. In the case of grand larceny, there is a potential jail sentence of up to twenty years. In addition, the person faces all of the problems that come with any kind of felony conviction. This may include the loss of their civil rights, such as the right to vote and the right to own or possess a firearm, as well as an inability to get public benefits, public assistance, and many other things.
The harshest penalty a person may experience if they are convicted of theft in a felony case is a twenty-year prison sentence.
Effect of Prior Convictions
A prior criminal conviction can have a significant impact on a person who has been charged with theft. In Virginia, if an individual is convicted on two previous occasions of a misdemeanor theft charge, the third misdemeanor charge is considered to be a felony. With that logic in mind, three petty larcenies in Virginia can add up to one felony, which can carry severe penalties.
Importance of a Lawyer in a Theft Case
Prince William County, and the town of Dumfries, in particular, has some of the toughest places in Virginia when it comes to dealing with theft charges from the perspective of discussions with the prosecutor. There is no first offender program in place in Prince William County for someone charged with a first theft offense.
For this reason, to get probation or to work out a favorable plea agreement, it is necessary to have the services of a theft attorney develop the best defenses possible so that the prosecution will have some anxiety that they may lose their case.
This is the only circumstance under which an individual could possibly receive a deferred disposition or some kind of first offender treatment. In summary, a strong defense can help the accused enormously, by working to ensure that they are represented with their best interests in mind.