Theft Charges in Virginia
The following is important information regarding the different types of theft in Virginia and what the distinctions are between each. If you have been accused of a theft related charge, consult with a Virginia theft lawyer today to begin building your defense.
How Is Theft Defined In Virginia?
In Virginia, we have larceny, which is similar to a theft offense in other states. Larceny is the wrongful or fraudulent taking of property of another without their consent and with the intent to permanently deprive them of the property. There are different types of larceny in Virginia. Petit larceny is the most common, and that involves items under $200 in value. Most shoplifting cases fall into this category.
Grand larceny, on the other hand means the value of the items is $200 or more, which is actually a very low threshold compared to other states. Grand larceny is a felony in Virginia and, unfortunately, is a very common charge since many items have a value of $200 or more.
What Is The Difference Between Larceny and Robbery?
Larceny is typically charged in shoplifting cases or cases where someone takes property from someone else without their consent. Robbery is a more serious charge. It is a felony offense that involves an act of violence or the threat of violence in order to deprive someone of property. Those are cases where somebody usually is threatening to harm another individual, sometimes with a weapon. These are more serious cases than larceny cases, which simply involve the taking of property without the intent to return that property.
What Are Some Common Scenarios Where Someone May Be Charged With Larceny?
Common scenarios for larceny offenses include shoplifting, meaning taking items from the store and then passing the point of sale and being caught with those items or even simply concealing items before leaving the store. Those types of cases usually focus on whether the person passed the point of sale with the item, whether the person showed the intent to permanently deprive the store of those items, and then whether the items were worth over or under $200. Those are the key factors in those types of larceny cases.
Other situations in which you may see larceny charged are cases where someone took an item from someone they knew or went to a person’s home and took an item without their knowledge. Those are other types of common larceny scenarios.
Is It Possible To Have Grand Larceny Knocked Down To a Misdemeanor?
Yes. Prosecutors are willing to negotiate on larceny offenses. With petit larceny, sometimes they are willing to amend it to other charges, including trespassing. In certain jurisdictions, like Fairfax County, it’s possible to do the first-offender program, by which you can get the charge dismissed after probation. With grand larceny charges, prosecutors may be willing to amend the charge to a misdemeanor instead of a felony.
That is very important for a number of reasons, including the fact that felonies are a part of someone’s permanent record so they can deprive them of certain rights and also can have a negative impact on someone’s employment. Misdemeanors, on the other hand, are less serious. They are still part of your permanent record, however, they don’t have the same negative effects that are associated with a felony conviction.