Fredericksburg Shoplifting Lawyer
In Fredericksburg, shoplifting is a class one misdemeanor, which means that a person could face jail time as well as a fine. Additionally, shoplifting is considered a crime of moral turpitude and therefore there can be far-reaching consequences for an individual, including loss of employment or difficulty in securing employment in the future because of how that looks on a person’s criminal record.
For this reason, if a person has been accused of shoplifting something, even of something that is of a relatively small value, they should take the charge very seriously and speak to a Fredericksburg shoplifting lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced theft lawyer can assist in building a defense and ensuring your rights are protected throughout the legal process.
Elements of the Crime
Shoplifting in Fredericksburg is when an individual takes or conceals an item on the premises, alters a price tag, or removes the price tag of the merchandise. If a person does any of those things, it is going to be considered larceny, a general term that refers to theft in general, in Virginia. Ultimately, shoplifting is a very specific kind of larceny.
The law concerning shoplifting says that if you go on the premises of a merchant or a shopkeeper and you either remove merchandise without paying, you conceal that merchandise in a bag or some other way, or you alter a price tag or remove a price tag, you will be charged with the crime of larceny in Virginia.
If a person is convicted of shoplifting in Fredericksburg, they are looking at all of the penalties that are available on any class one misdemeanor, meaning up to 12 months in jail or a $2,500.00 fine. Even if a person does not receive the maximum penalties, it is likely that they may be looking at actual jail time and actual fines, in addition to the consequences that having a shoplifting charge on a person’s record can have in their life. These penalties make it extremely important that a shoplifting attorney in Fredericksburg is consulted as soon as possible.
Role of an Attorney
An arraignment is a point in the case where an individual is called upon to plead either guilty or not guilty. At the arraignment, the attorney can help the individual make a decision about whether they want to make an agreement with the government, plead guilty in the case, or plead not guilty.
Another important decision to be made is often whether a person wants to have a trial with a jury or a trial by a judge sitting without a jury. Each of these things has very particular costs and benefits, and working with a shoplifting attorney in Fredericksburg can help you to understand what those are and what you should choose.
Benefits of Having an Attorney
There are number of ways having a Fredericksburg shoplifting lawyer can help. They can help a person understand some ins and outs of the legal system that they would not necessarily understand otherwise. Additionally, there are various important procedural things, including defenses and approaches that someone working on their own simply would not understand. An attorney can also help a person understand what the government has to prove and what is reasonable in a particular case.