Chesterfield County Theft Lawyer
In Virginia, theft crimes fall into three general categories: larceny, robbery, and burglary. Each of these types of theft can carry serious penalties ranging from fines and probation to jail time. Hence if you’ve been charged with theft in Chesterfield County, Virginia contact a Chesterfield County theft lawyer today to learn the specifics of the charges you may be facing and what your legal options are. A theft lawyer in Chesterfield County will be able to review the evidence in your case and advise you on the best course of action, whether it be a plea bargain or going to trial.
What is a Theft Charge in Virginia?
Theft (synonymous with larceny and stealing) is a generic crime, recognized in common law, together with burglary and robbery. All burglaries and robberies involve an element of theft. Burglary is a theft that is committed together with the breaking into or forced entry into a structure (for example, a home, a store, a garage, or a warehouse), and certain types of chattels, such as motor vehicles, trailers, and boats. Robbery is a theft committed with either the threat of violence or the use of actual violence against the person whose property is stolen. Such violence can be in the form of physical force or the use of weapon and therefore typically involves the most serious consequences, making a Chesterfield County theft lawyer imperative to those accused of robbery charges.
Larceny is committed when a person steals something of value, such as either “personal property” or other more specific types of property described in pertinent statutes. There are separate laws that involve thefts of motor vehicles, farm animals, and other types of property that are afforded special or enhanced protection in terms of penalties imposed.
Larceny is committed when a person intentionally takes and carries away the personal property of another person without that person’s consent. Larceny is broken down into two categories:
- Grand larceny [Section 18.2-95]
- Petit larceny (often pronounced “petty larceny”) [Section 18.2-96]
The two crimes are distinguished by the value of what was stolen, and whether stolen item was taken from the “other person directly” (as opposed to outside of the other person’s presence and without that person’s immediate knowledge). A Chesterfield County theft lawyer will be able to provide more information on the specific charge you face, including whether it is grand or petit larceny.
A person commits grand larceny when the individual:
(1) Steals something worth at least $5 from another person directly, or
(2) Steals at least $200 worth of items, or
(3) Steals a gun (any firearm – regardless of value)
A person commits petit larceny when the individual:
(1) Steals less than $5 worth of items from someone’s person, or
(2) Steals less than $200 worth of items (not guns) from anywhere
Theft Penalties in Chesterfield County
Grand larceny is a felony, punishable by one to 20 years in prison, or, at the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, 12 months in jail, and/or a fine of up to $2,500 [Section 18.2-95].
Petit larceny is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500 [Sections 18.2-96 and 18.2-11(a)].
Prior Convictions in Theft Cases
If an individual is guilty of petit larceny and has a prior conviction from any jurisdiction for an offense that would qualify as any kind of larceny, then they face 30 days to 12 months in jail. [Section 18.2-104.]
If an individual is charged with either petit larceny or grand larceny and has at least two prior larceny-related convictions, then they should contact a Chesterfield County theft lawyer as soon as possible as they are facing a class 6 felony punishable by a felony conviction with one to five years in prison [Section 18.2-104].