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Henrico County Theft Lawyer

All theft offenses fall under the broad category of larceny under Virginia law. While reports of theft crimes do not always lead to conviction, accusations that you stole something can have serious consequences. A Henrico County theft lawyer can help you understand the theft charges you are facing and explore options for avoiding conviction or lessening penalties.

Receiving Help From a Henrico County Theft Lawyer

A Henrico County theft attorney may be able to assist you in:

  • Plea bargaining. If you admit guilt, prosecutors may reduce charges or agree to lesser penalties. For a first offense, plea bargaining almost always means avoiding jail time for small thefts.
  • Getting evidence suppressed or charges dropped. If the prosecutor has insufficient evidence, a theft attorney in Henrico County can file a pretrial motion in an attempt to have the case dismissed. If the evidence was collected in violation of Fourth Amendment rights, an attorney can argue that it cannot be used against you to show that you committed a theft offense.
  • Identifying and presenting defenses. An attorney can argue there was a lawful claim to the property allegedly stolen, or that there was no intent to commit the crime of theft.
  • Raising doubts about guilt. Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of a theft offense. Casting doubts on witness statements or raising questions about the accuracy of other evidence can result in a not-guilty

A Henrico County theft lawyer can help you to decide what strategies are right in your particular case. Call an attorney as soon as possible when you’ve been accused of a theft crime.

Theft Crimes in Henrico County

Under Virginia law, theft crimes may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The charges you face will depend on the methods that were allegedly used to steal goods or services as well as on the value of the items that were taken. For example:

  • Petit larceny is a misdemeanor offense under Virginia Code section 18.2-96. You can be charged with this offense for taking something valued at $200 or less, provided the item you are accused of stealing was not a firearm and there was no violence involved in the theft. Penalties include up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
  • Grand larceny is a felony under section 18.2-95. The theft of a firearm or items valued at more than $200 can result in conviction and penalties of between one and 20 years incarceration as well as a fine of $2,500.
  • Selling stolen goods is a felony under section 18.2-108.01. You can be charged with this offense for actually selling stolen property, for stealing property with the intent to sell or distribute it, or for attempting to sell property you know is stolen. Stealing property in order to sell it can result in between two and 20 years of prison time.
  • Burglary and robbery are both felony offenses under sections 18.2-89 and 18.2-58, respectively. Burglary involves breaking into a dwelling at night for the purposes of committing any felony, including larceny. Robbery involves using violence or threats of violence to take items.
  • Aiding and abetting larceny can result in criminal charges equal to those faced by the person who does the shoplifting. This means that helping a friend to steal can get you sent to jail.

Repeat convictions for theft offenses can make penalties worse. For example, if you are convicted of petit larceny for a third time, you could be charged with a class 6 felony and face a minimum of 30 days in jail.

Because penalties are more severe for every repeat offense, it is a good idea to consult with a Henrico County theft lawyer as soon as you have been charged with any theft crime, so you can try to avoid the criminal record that goes along with conviction.