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Learning More About Theft and Larceny Charges Under Virginia Law

Learning More About Theft And Larceny Charges Under Virginia Law

When you are facing charges related to theft in Fairfax, it can be difficult to fully understand the distinctions in the types of larceny charges under Virginia law and the defenses that may be available to you. Generally speaking, there are different levels of theft or larceny offenses under Virginia law, and there are also different types of theft or larceny charges. The following are some of the different theft or larceny offenses in the state that you may not know about, along with their offense levels and potential penalties.

Larceny of Bank Notes and Checks

Under the Code of Virginia, the larceny of bank notes and checks (§ 18.2-98) is defined as an offense in which a person steals bank notes or any book of accounts concering money to be delivered. In other words, this type of larceny concerns the theft of money, checks, and other paper objects of monetary value.

When a person is convicted of this type of larceny, the offense level is dependent upon the value of the “the thing stolen.” Under Virginia law, the crime can be charged as petit larceny (§ 18.2-96) or grand larceny (§ 18.2-95) depending upon the value of the object. Petit larceny is the lesser offense and is a Class 1 misdemeanor. That is punishable by up to one year in jail Grand larceny is a felony offense that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Unauthorized Use of Animal, Aircraft, Vehicle or Boat

While the terms theft and larceny are not expressly stated in the title of this law, the Code of Virginia makes it unlawful to use a transportation vehicle without consent. This is a form of theft or larceny. Under Virginia law (§ 18.2-102), it is unlawful to take any vehicle without the consent of the owner and with intent to deprive the owner of possession, yet without intent to steal. This is a Class 6 felony offense that is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Concealing or Taking Possession of Merchandise

The offense of concealing or taking possession of merchandise (§ 18.2-103), also known more colloquially as shoplifting, occurs when a person does one of the following:

  • Takes the goods or merchandise of any store’
  • Alters the price tag on goods or transfers the goods from one container to a different one; or
  • Helps another in completing any of the above acts.

Shoplifting can be charged as petit larceny or grand larceny depending upon the value of the item or items shoplifted.

Contact a Theft Defense Lawyer in Fairfax

If you are facing theft or larceny charges, it is important to have a Fairfax theft defense attorney on your side. Contact Whitestone Young, PC for more information about our criminal defense services.


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