Vienna, Virginia Theft Lawyer
Accused of Theft? Take Action in Your Defense
Being accused and charged with a crime of theft is a serious matter. Simply being accused of theft can result in the loss of one’s reputation in their community and be labeled as a dishonest person. The penalties for a conviction are even worse and can result in the loss of employment and possible incarceration.
Building an effective defense to theft charges is essential. Trust your case in the legal representation of a Vienna, Virginia theft lawyer from Portner & Shure. We know how much is on the line when you are accused of theft, so we will be ready to challenge everything the prosecution throws at your case.
This is the right time to start your defense. Call (703) 291-3263.
Virginia Theft Laws
Under Virginia law, theft is considered a property crime that involves the taking of money, property, or goods with the intent to permanently deprive the lawful owner of possession. Theft can generally either be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor. The value of the property determines how theft is charged.
Petty larceny is a class 1 misdemeanor and carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and/or a $2,500.00 fine.
An individual can be charged with petty larceny if:
- The value of a property taken from another person is less than $5.00
- The value of property or services taken is worth less than $200.00
- The value of the property taken from a commercial establishment is worth less than $200.00
A second offense still carries a maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and/or a $2,500.00 fine. A second offense also carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days in jail.
Unlike petty larceny, though, grand larceny is a felony.
An individual can be charged with grand larceny if:
- The value of a property taken from another person is more than $5.00
- The value of property or services taken is worth more than $200.00
- The value of the property taken from a commercial establishment is worth more than $200.00
- A firearm was taken
The penalties for grand larceny range from 1 year in jail and /or $2,500.00 fine to a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Shoplifting Charges in Vienna, Virginia
One of the most common theft crimes is shoplifting. This is due to the availability of unsecured merchandise found in stores.
Virginia law defines shoplifting as a separate theft offense from petty larceny or grand larceny. The penalties, however, are the same. If the goods are worth less than $500.00, shoplifting can be charged as petty larceny. If the value of the goods is worth more than $500.00, shoplifting can be charged as grand larceny. Aside from an accusation that an individual physically took property from a store, Virginia law allows an individual to be charged with shoplifting if the price tag was altered or switched, or an item was placed in a container for a cheaper item.
Virginia law also attaches civil penalties to shoplifting. The potential penalties are based on whether the owner is able to recover or resell the property. If the owner can resell the undamaged property, the maximum civil penalty is $350.00. If the owner is unable to recover the property, the owner can recover twice the value of the property or $50.00.
Defenses to Theft Charges in Vienna, Virginia
People mistakenly believe that they have to prove their innocence when they are charged with a theft crime. The reality is that the prosecution has to prove that the defendant did commit the theft crime in question and beyond a reasonable doubt. An in-depth review of the evidence may reveal that the prosecution may not be able to meet this burden.
People accused of theft can assert the affirmative defense of the rightful claim of ownership to the property, too. How could you steal something that you owned to a fair extent? You also should not be convicted of theft if you never intended to permanently take the property away from its owner, which is a defense based on the argument that you were merely borrowing an item with or without express permission.
Ready to Defend Your Rights & Reputation
Do not let a theft charge hang over you and ruin your future by locking you in jail. Fight it as much as you can with the help of our Vienna theft defense lawyers. We are the first name people throughout Virginia call when they find themselves in a difficult legal situation. Across the last 25+ years, our reputation for excellence casework and creative strategies has only grown.
Contact us online to talk with a legal professional about your case.
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