Prince William County Shoplifting Lawyer

If you are being accused of the crime of shoplifting, you may be facing some very serious criminal penalties as well as serious consequences to your employment. An experienced Prince William County shoplifting lawyer can work to mitigate any potential penalties and consequences after reviewing the facts of your case.

In Virginia, the severity of the penalties related to a shoplifting charge depends heavily upon your previous criminal history, as well as the value of the goods allegedly taken. It’s important to contact a criminal defense lawyer in order to determine the best defense plan for your unique circumstances.

Why Work with a Prince William County Shoplifting Lawyer?

While the penalties for your current shoplifting charge can increase if you have had multiple prior shoplifting convictions, it is possible that an experienced Prince William County Shoplifting lawyer can have the penalties associated with your shoplifting charge lessened.

In fact, in Virginia, the Court may choose to lessen your penalty by removing possible jail time altogether in exchange for the payment of a fine.

A knowledgeable Prince William County shoplifting lawyer can craft a smart defense on your behalf, aiming to have the charges lessened or dismissed altogether.

If you are currently facing a shoplifting charge in Prince William County and would like to discuss your options with one of our lawyers, please contact our firm to conduct your initial consultation.

What is Shoplifting?

In Virginia, the crime of shoplifting is considered to be larceny.  Virginia separates larceny into two categories – grand and petit – which are dependent upon the value of the taken item(s):

  • Grand Larceny – Virginia Code Section 2-95 defines grand larceny as being the theft of an item or items with a value of at least $5 from another individual directly; the theft of an item or items with a value of at least $200; or the theft of a gun.
  • Petit Larceny – Section 2-96 defines petit larceny as being the theft of an item or items worth less than $5 from another’s person or the theft of an item or items with a value less than $200.

Because shoplifting can involve more than a simple taking of property, Section 18.2-103 more clearly defines what shoplifting encompasses.

Virginia considers the crime of shoplifting to be the intentional taking or hiding of an item or items; the altering of price tags; or the transferring of an item or items from one package to another; without paying the true purchase price.  However, there is often a lot of room for interpretation about what it means to “transfer” items or “alter” a price tag, so it’s useful to speak with a Prince William County shoplifting lawyer and determine your best defense options by carefully reviewing your case.

Potential Penalties For Shoplifting

If you are found to be guilty of committing grand larceny by way of shoplifting, you will receive a felony conviction which means you may face a prison sentence ranging from one to 20 years and a fine that may be as high as $2,500.

If you are found to be guilty of committing petit larceny by way of shoplifting, you will receive a class 1 misdemeanor conviction which means you may face a jail sentence that can last as long as 12 months with a fine that may be as high as $2,500.

If you have one or more previous grand or petit larceny convictions, the penalties associated with your current charge stand to increase.

For example, if you are facing your second petit larceny charge, your penalty may increase to a minimum of 30 days in jail.  If you are facing your third or more petit larceny charge, your penalty may increase from a misdemeanor to a felony.

Contacting An Attorney in Prince William County

Although it may seem like a minor offense, shoplifting can carry penalties such as fines and in some cases even jail time. For this reason it’s important that you take your charge seriously and contact a Prince William County shoplifting lawyer as soon as possible. A shoplifting attorney can look at your case and provide you will guidance on how to proceed. Call today for a free consultation.

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