In Virginia, theft crimes fall into three categories — larceny, burglary, and robbery. These may be misdemeanors or felonies, depending on the circumstances of the crime, the value of property involved, and the defendant’s criminal history.
Larceny is unlawfully taking property that belongs to another person. Petit larceny involves taking an item valued at less than $500 with the intent of permanently depriving another person of that property. This is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $2,500 fine. Grand larceny involves taking an item valued at $500 or more, or taking a firearm regardless of the firearm’s value. Grand larceny is punishable by one to twenty years in prison and a fine up to $2,500.
Shoplifting is a type of larceny in Virginia. A person commits shoplifting if they alter a price tag, conceal items at a store, or take possession of goods with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of them. A person can also be charged with shoplifting if they help another person commit these acts. If the value of the items is less than $500, this is petit larceny. If the value of the items is $500 or more, this is grand larceny.
In Virginia, burglary is breaking and entering into another person’s house at night with the intent to commit larceny or another offense. If the defendant intends to or actually commits a misdemeanor, it is a Class 6 felony, punishable by one to five years in prison and a fine up to $2,500. If the person intends to or actually commits a felony or any larceny, it is a Class 3 felony, punishable by five to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $100,000. If the defendant used a deadly weapon during the burglary, it is a Class 2 felony, punishable by 20 years to life in prison and a fine up to $100,000.
Robbery is committing larceny with violence or the threat of violence. Robbery does not necessarily involve using a deadly weapon. A person can commit robbery with the use of force, such as partially strangling, suffocating, or hitting another person. A person can also commit robbery by threatening the other person, placing them in fear of harm. The amount of force does not matter — robbery occurs even when the force is minimal. This is a felony, punishable by five years to life in prison.
If a person uses force to take another person’s motor vehicle, they are charged with carjacking. This is a felony, punishable by fifteen years to life in prison.
HAVE YOU BEEN CHARGED WITH A THEFT CRIME IN VIRGINIA?
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony theft crime in Virginia or Washington, D.C., including petit larceny, grand larceny, burglary or robbery, you need an aggressive criminal defense attorney to protect your future. The attorneys at S.L. England, PLLC, have the courtroom experience to effectively argue your case in front of a judge or jury. Call us today at (202) 489-0720 or contact us online