Chesterfield Shoplifting Lawyer

Shoplifting occurs when a person takes a piece of merchandise from a retail facility without permission or proper payment. The offense can even occur if a person does not make it out of the store. Defending a shoplifting allegation is key to protecting your civil rights and the consequences can be significant in certain situations. A proper theft defense attorney is necessary in every case—including yours.

To start on your defense, speak with a Chesterfield County shoplifting lawyer for help. Our firm has the years of training needed to construct a proper counter-argument.

Shoplifting Laws in Chesterfield County

Virginia Code § 18.2-103 defines shoplifting as willfully taking possession of goods from a store without paying full price. This may also occur if a person:

  • Alters a price tag to pay less than the full retail price
  • Willfully conceals goods
  • Counsels, assists, or aids another person in committing the theft
  • Transfers items from one container to another to avoid paying full price

These acts, and possibly more, could result in a shoplifting charge. A local prosecutor is obligated to prove all of the elements of the crime in order to get a conviction for shoplifting, and they must prove each shoplifting element beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a high standard to meet which leaves open opportunities for a Chesterfield County shoplifting attorney to defend a person’s case.

Penalties for Shoplifting Offenses

Shoplifting, also referred to as larceny, is strictly penalized under state law. Shoplifting may fall under several sections of state law, depending on the value of the items stolen and the conduct surrounding it. This may change the penalties significantly for the offense.

Grand Larceny Shoplifting

If the value of the items exceeded $200, it is considered grand larceny shoplifting. The penalty for grand larceny ranges from one to twenty years in prison, while the maximum possible fine is up to $2,500.

Petit Larceny Shoplifting

This is a Class I misdemeanor and occurs if the value of the items is less than $200. The offense may lead to a maximum of 12 months in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.


A person charged with concealment for receiving, trouncing, or concealing goods may occur as part of a shoplifting charge. The applicable penalties are based on the value of the goods taken, and will be calibrated depending on whether it is considered grand or petit larceny.

Defending Against Shoplifting Charges

Shoplifting is a serious offense. When the circumstances merit it, the prosecution could also layer on other theft-related charges. Possible defenses in shoplifting incidents include:

  • The value of the items was less than as alleged
  • The accused person did not steal the items
  • There was no concealment
  • Challenging the testimony of witnesses
  • Challenging the use of evidence
  • Presenting reasonable doubt

These and many other legal defenses could make a big difference in a person’s case. They should consult a Chesterfield County shoplifting attorney to get the help they need.

Consult with a Shoplifting Attorney in Chesterfield County

Although many people do not see shoplifting as a highly serious charge, no one should dismiss it as a slap on the wrist. The penalty range could result in years in prison, along with high fines. Challenging these allegations and the prosecutor’s evidence is necessary in order to avoid incarceration. For further help, speak with a qualified Chesterfield County shoplifting lawyer today. Our office is ready to help you in this difficult time.

Chesterfield County Theft Lawyer