What Are The Penalties For Theft In Virginia?
Under Virginia law, larceny (theft) can end up being a serious charge with even more serious consequences if not defended against properly. Criminal records are often difficult to expunge and may follow the accused around for the rest of their lives, making it difficult to obtain and keep employment.
After being charged with larceny, defendants should immediately seek legal representation to begin crafting a strong legal defense and scrutinize evidence. Through pretrial discovery, attorneys can properly gauge the strength of the prosecution’s case and ascertain if the allegations match the criminal charge.
Petit larceny charges in Virginia
Sometimes called petty theft, petit larceny in Virginia is theft of property less than $200 or less than $5 when stolen directly from another person (robbery). This sets a very low threshold for more serious charges like grand larceny.
Penalties for petit larceny in Virginia include:
- Up to one-year in jail;
- Fine of up to $2,500; and
- Class I misdemeanor criminal record.
Often times, prosecutors may incorrectly state the value of allegedly stolen property, thereby putting the accused at risk of incurring even higher penalties. Having an experienced attorney can mean the difference between stiffer penalties or receiving a more lenient sentence.
Grand larceny charges in Virginia
Stealing property worth more than $200 in value or taking property worth more than $5 from an individual is considered grand larceny in Virginia. Stealing a firearm of any value is also grand larceny in Virginia. Most grand larceny charges are felonies and can carry very serious jail time and financial penalties.
Penalties for grand larceny in Virginia include:
- Minimum one-year in jail up to a maximum of 20 years; and
- Fine of up to $2,500.
Courts in Virginia have discretion to hand down more lenient sentences, closer to those associated with petit larceny. Defendants with no criminal record or who allegedly stole property closer to the $200 threshold for petit/grand larceny may receive these lenient sentences so having a strong criminal defense attorney to argue for that type of consideration can make a world of difference.
Penalties for multiple larceny convictions
Virginia law has tiered sentencing for multiple larceny offenders with minimum mandatory sentences. A second larceny conviction (either petit or grand larceny) carries a minimum sentence of 30 days and up to one-year in jail. A third conviction for either petit or grand larceny becomes a Class 6 misdemeanor and carries a minimum jail sentence of one year.
Leesburg Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you or someone you know has been charged with larceny, even petit larceny, it is important to retain experienced and qualified legal counsel to help defend you the charges. Prosecutors do not always charge guilty parties and innocent victims may sometimes bear the wrath of overzealous prosecutors.
The Leesburg criminal defense attorneys of Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy, PC serve clients throughout Loudoun and Fairfax Counties. Our attorneys have years of experience defending the legal rights of those accused of larceny and will vigorously fight to clear your name. Contact our office for a case evaluation and learn about your options.