Fredericksburg Theft Penalties
The consequences of felony theft charges in Fredericksburg can be severe. Most forms of felony theft or larceny are punishable up to twenty years in prison. It is certainly possible in any felony larceny case there will be active prison time, measured in months or even in years depending on the severity of the charge. In addition to this, as with other felonies, a person is going to lose their civil rights in the process, which will mean they can no longer vote, hold a public office, or even carry a firearm.
A felony conviction could close a lot of doors for a person in their life, making it difficult for them to have the kind of employment they want. It makes it difficult for them to get student aid as well as a whole host of other consequences that come along with felony convictions. If you are convicted of a felony theft, the worst consequence you can experience is a term of imprisonment of up to 20 years. Due to the severity of the penalties and consequences on a person’s life, it is very important to get in touch with a Fredericksburg defense attorney to understand the range of consequences and protect your rights.
Prior Criminal Convictions
Prior criminal convictions affect the person charged with theft in Fredericksburg in two ways. There will be sentencing guidelines that a court will review in order to determine punishment upon conviction, which is particularly true if the person is charged with a felony. Those guidelines factor in previous convictions. The amount and severity of convictions you have had in your past will affect how much harsher the punishment is going to be.
In Virginia, three misdemeanor larceny charges will equal one felony charge. If a person has two prior misdemeanor convictions and is charged again with stealing something less than $200 in value, they are still going to be charged with a felony.
Probation and Sentencing
Courts in Virginia have the power to defer disposition on a case and place someone on probation. They have the power to dismiss the charge. Whether a judge will do that under a particular set of circumstances or whether a prosecutor will agree to that varies greatly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and from situation to situation.
A legal counsel in Fredericksburg can assist with theft penalties by encouraging the client to take proactive steps early in the case in order to mitigate later. This might include taking a class of some kind or having mental health services of some kind provided. It may also include making restitution or performing community service. These options could make it easier for a prosecutor or a judge to offer that kind of resolution in a particular case.
Working With An Attorney
The lawyer has several important roles. The lawyer’s job is to make the process predictable and help the client understand what is going to happen as well as what important choices they are going to have to make as the case progresses. The lawyer’s role is to be the advocate, the person that speaks on behalf of the accused, and the person who helps them understand the best tactics possible in order to get the best outcome their theft penalty case in Fredericksburg.
Sometimes the best outcome in the case is going to be dismissal, sometimes it is going to be a reduced charge, in other cases, it is going to be a reduced sentence. It is the lawyer’s role to figure out how to get the best outcome and to clearly communicate to the client each step in the process.