If you have been arrested and charged with a theft crime, you may be wondering how serious the consequences are. In Virginia, theft crimes are taken seriously by prosecutors and courts. As a result, prosecutors aggressively pursue theft convictions, leading to prison time, hefty fines, and restitution payments.
Categories of Theft Crimes in Virginia
Theft is the unlawful taking of another person’s goods, property, or money without their consent. In Virginia, there are two categories of theft, including:
- Petit larceny: A person will be charged with petit larceny if they take something from the person of another that is worth less than $5 or if they stole property worth less than $1,000 not directly from a person.
- Grand larceny: If a person takes something worth more than $5 from the person of another, or takes a firearm, takes property worth $1,000 or more not directly from a person, they could be charged with grand larceny. Grand larceny is a felony.
Common Types of Theft Crimes
Whether theft crimes are categorized as petit larceny or grand larceny, there are different kinds. Types of theft crimes include:
- Robbery: When someone uses violence or a threat of violence to take something, they can be charged with larceny.
- Shoplifting: A person could face larceny charges if they take merchandise from a store without paying.
- Embezzlement: Prosecutors can charge a person with larceny if someone entrusts that person with their money or property, which they then use for their own benefit.
- Receiving stolen goods: Possessing things that have been stolen may result in a criminal charge if the possessor knew or should have known the goods were stolen.
- Car theft: If someone takes a motor vehicle like a boat, airplane, car, or motorcycle, they could face a grand larceny charge.
- Burglary: Breaking into a building to steal something is burglary and can lead to severe consequences.
Consequences for Theft Crimes in Virginia
When someone is convicted of larceny in Virginia, they could face a variety of legal consequences, such as:
- Jail or prison time: The amount of jail or prison time that follows a larceny conviction depends on the severity of the offense. For example, if convicted of petit larceny, a person could face up to 12 months in jail. In contrast, the penalty could be between one and 20 years in prison when the conviction is for grand larceny. The court also can consider whether there were aggravating circumstances that could result in more jail or prison time.
- Fines: In addition to jail or prison time, a conviction of theft in Virginia could result in up to $2,500 in fines.
- Restitution: The court can also order a person to pay restitution to the victim of the theft. For example, if the conviction results from a theft of $4,000 in goods, a court could order the convicted person to pay $4,000 to the victim. Failing to pay restitution can result in additional consequences.
- Probation: When convicted of theft in Virginia, someone could receive probation, which allows them to avoid jail or prison. Probation is a specific period of supervision during which the convicted person must comply with certain conditions, such as reporting to a probation officer or attending counseling. Violating probation can lead to additional consequences.
- Community service: Sometimes, a person may have to perform community service hours. Failing to complete those hours could result in additional consequences.
- Difficulty finding employment: Having a felony or misdemeanor on a person’s record can make it difficult to obtain employment.
- Loss of certain civil rights: When a person has a felony conviction, they cannot own a weapon. As a result, felonies can impact civil liberties.
Contact the Criminal Defense Attorneys of Whitestone Young, PC, for a Consultation
Virginia theft charges can lead to severe consequences. To best protect your legal rights and reduce the consequences surrounding a theft crime, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. The Fairfax, VA, attorneys of Whitestone Young, PC, will work diligently to provide you with the best defense possible. To get started on your defense and to learn more about your options, call us at 703-591-0200.