Chesterfield Shoplifting Lawyer
Being accused of shoplifting in Chesterfield, Virginia can be an embarrassing and frustrating experience. However, beyond just the emotional toll is the fact that if convicted you could be looking at heavy fines or even jail time in certain cases. For this reason it’s important not to take any chances within the legal system and contact an experienced Chesterfield shoplifting lawyer who can advocate on your behalf and make sure your rights are protected.
Shoplifting Charges in Chesterfield
Shoplifting is a theft crime that occurs when an individual takes goods or products from a store or retailer with no intention of paying for the items.
The crime of shoplifting is considered complete once someone conceals an item by placing an item in a pocket or personal bag, alters the price tag, switches an item from one container to another, or does anything else to create a reasonable suspicion of shoplifting. A suspected shoplifter can properly be apprehended or detained before leaving the store. [Virginia Code Section 18.2-103.]
Anyone who counsels, assists, aids, or abets another in the performance of shoplifting is guilty of the shoplifting to the same extent as the primary shoplifter and may also want to contact a Chesterfield shoplifting lawyer. [Section 18.2-103.]
Chesterfield Shoplifting Penalties
Shoplifting is not treated as a distinct offense in Virginia. Theft from a store is treated like any other theft for sentencing purposes. Theft in Virginia is codified as either a petit larceny (pronounced “petty larceny”) or grand larceny, depending on the context of a shoplifting-type theft or the retail value of the item stole or attempted to be stolen.
Theft of an item valued at less than $200 is a class 1 misdemeanor. Theft of an item valued at $200 or more is a felony. A class 1 misdemeanor is punishable by of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. [Section 18.2-96.]
A felony is punishable by one year or up to life imprisonment, although it is within the discretion of the jury or court to reduce the penalty provisions to that of a class 1 misdemeanor. In addition, there is a potential for a fine of up to $2,500 making it even more imperative that a shoplifting lawyer in Chesterfield is contacted.
For a second offense for larceny in Virginia, whether petit or grand, comes with a statutory minimum sentence of 30 days in jail. [Section 18.2-104.] For a third and all subsequent offenses, no matter what the value of the items stolen or attempted to be stolen, such third and subsequent shoplifting offenses will be treated as a class 6 felony punishable by one to five years in prison. Due to the severe nature of these offenses contact a Chesterfield shoplifting lawyer to make sure all your rights are being protected.
Contacting a Chesterfield Shoplifting Lawyer
If you are charged with shoplifting, all is not lost. There are many ways to defend against the accusation of shoplifting and also mitigate the harsh penalties and other consequences that come from a criminal record. Engage an experienced Chesterfield shoplifting lawyer with a track record of success in defending shoplifting prosecutions. Call for a free consultation today.