Fairfax Theft Lawyer

Theft refers to the act of taking property that does not belong to a person when a person does not have permission from the rightful owner, and that person has the intent to permanently deprive it of the rightful owner. Theft or larceny offenses in Fairfax result in very serious penalties for individuals who are convicted of these charges.

If you are facing charges of theft, it is important to contact a Fairfax theft lawyer as soon as possible to begin building a defense. An experienced defense attorney can help to build a defense to avoid the most serious consequences associated with your charges.

Larceny Offenses

A larceny charge is what a person is likely to be charged with. Larceny in Fairfax is a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property. If, for example, a person takes somebody’s credit card, then that is a credit card charge. If someone takes somebody’s check, then that could be a larceny of a check. There are different types of that. Depending on what exactly is done, it could be embezzlement. It could be a taking by false pretense depending on exactly what is taken and how it is taken.

If someone is charged with larceny, their Fairfax theft lawyer will want to know what they are alleged to have taken, how much it cost, and where it came from. The lawyer wants to know if there was anybody else with them at the time and if this is their first larceny charge or if somebody has had this charge before. If they took something from somebody they knew or from a business, that is important information.

Potential Penalties

In a Fairfax theft case, the prosecution would have to prove that an individual took an item that did not belong to them, that they did not have permission to take it, and that they meant to keep it and not give it back to the owner.

Some theft charges are considered misdemeanors, meaning they carry a possibility of 12 months in jail. The most serious larceny charges are felonies which carry up to 20 years in prison. It is unlikely that a person would get these 20 years but, under the right set of circumstances, if a person has a bad record, for instance, they could be looking at extensive jail time or prison time for a theft charge and should, therefore, consult with a Fairfax theft attorney immediately.

Aggravating Factors

Prior criminal convictions can impact somebody’s Fairfax theft case negatively. Judges will look at a person’s past record, if they are convicted, and hold that against them. In Virginia, if a person has been convicted of petty larceny twice, their third petty larceny is considered a felony no matter how small the amount is that they have taken. Taking a pack of bubblegum from a store could be a felony if they have had two prior larceny convictions.

Working With a Fairfax Theft Attorney

It is a criminal offense and depending on someone’s criminal record and the amount that is alleged to have been taken, it can result in jail time. In a number of jurisdictions, judges will give jail time on a first offense petty larceny or a first offense shoplifting. It is important to have the help of a Fairfax theft lawyer who can possibly get the person through that case and try to avoid jail.

Often, in felony cases and especially if it is someone’s first felony case, the sentence is reduced to a misdemeanor assuming they can either return the item or pay restitution. If a person is charged with shoplifting or petty larceny, many courts in Virginia have a program where, if a person stays out of trouble, and if they complete a shoplifting intervention court, and do some community service, the charge will be dismissed. An experienced lawyer will steer a person into that rather than risk having a conviction for this type of charge. The sooner a Fairfax theft attorney can talk to the client, the sooner they are able to help a person, so that is something that a person wants to do immediately.