New Kent Shoplifting Lawyer

Shoplifting is more commonly known as concealment. It exists when an individual has taken an item in a store, hides it from common observation, and does so with the intent of leaving the store with the item without paying for it.

The elements for this are different from a typical larceny charge, but the penalties are the same. Shoplifting, regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor or a felony, can carry active jail time, court cost, fines, and restitution making it important a New Kent shoplifting lawyer is contacted. An experienced theft attorney in New Kent can work to protect your rights, your interests, and your record.

Shoplifting Laws

Virginia Code, Section 18.2-103, is the statute that governs shoplifting and concealment. Shoplifting is the taking or hiding of an item inside of the store or establishment with the intent to permanently deprive the store of that item by not paying for it. These charges can be both misdemeanors and felonies, depending on the value of the item concealed.


The possible penalties can range depending on whether it a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor shoplifting charge carries up to 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine, court costs, restitution if necessary, and any other conditions that the court may impose.

With that said, there are two instances in which shoplifting can become a felony. If the value of the items taken is $500 or more, or if the individual accused has two or more previous shoplifting or larceny convictions on their record, a third or subsequent event can be charged as a felony.

A second-time offender, in the view of the court, has not learned a lesson from the previous experience. This leads to a more rigorous prosecution and a harsher sentence if convicted.

Probation or Reduced Sentencing

Virginia Code, Section 19.2-303.2, allows an individual charged with a first-time offense to be placed on probation, and have the matter dismissed as opposed to receiving a conviction and being incarcerated. A New Kent shoplifting lawyer is able to find these code sections and information in every case to present the facts to the judge to get the most favorable outcome.

Building a Defense

In a New Kent shoplifting case, the prosecutor will need to prove that an individual took an item in the store, hid it from a common observation, and did so with the intent of leaving the store with the item without paying for it.

The first thing that a New Kent shoplifting attorney will do to counter the prosecution is to gather all the information from their client. Using this information, they will investigate the who, what, when, where, and how to find every lead and hole in the case.

While the facts of every case are different, the key to any shoplifting charge is in the details. Filing motions, following up with witnesses, and conducting a thorough investigation are the keys to every good shoplifting defense.

Unique Aspects of Shoplifting Defense

The main difference between shoplifting and other theft charges is the realization that the accused does not have to leave the store to be charged. Once the item is concealed, with the requisite intent and an individual can be charged with shoplifting. With a shoplifting charge, it is imperative to gather as much information and evidence about what has happened inside of the establishment. The entire case concerns facts and nuances that an experienced attorney will be searching for when preparing the physical defense.

Benefit of a New Kent Shoplifting Attorney

A local attorney is familiar with the area and knows what is likely to happen in certain situations. Local attorneys have seen similar cases and can give their a realistic understanding of what to expect. An attorney is able to investigate a client’s case, look at all the evidence, and prepare the defense that is best for them and their circumstances.

The attorney can also assist in the arraignment by selecting a favorable court date, address bond if necessary, and gather vital information to begin investigating a case more thoroughly. For this reason, and others, a person charged with shoplifting should contact a shoplifting attorney in New Kent immediately after being notified of the charge or investigation.

New Kent Theft Lawyer