Many people make the mistake of taking an item off a shelf without paying (and without thinking much of it). However, shoplifting is a crime, and if you are currently facing shoplifting charges, it is critical that you retain the services of an experienced Richmond shoplifting attorney at once. Contact James A. Bullard Jr. P.C. today.
Do I Need a Richmond Shoplifting Attorney?
Shoplifting charges can have a lasting impact on a person, especially since once you develop a criminal record, prospective employers will automatically have trust issues, knowing you’ve committed a crime of dishonesty in the past. This is why it is always best to speak with an experienced Richmond criminal defense attorney who can fight your charges, every step of the way.
Legal Penalties for Shoplifting in Virginia
Larceny is a crime committed when someone unlawfully takes property from another person with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of that property. For this reason, shoplifting is considered a type of larceny. The following acts are all considered shoplifting:
- Swapping pricetags on certain items
- Pretending to pay for merchandise and leaving without paying
- Concealing an item with the intent to leave without paying for the merchandise
- Altering price tags
If you are caught shoplifting in the Commonwealth of Virginia, you may face several penalties, depending on the dollar value of the merchandise you allegedly stole. The penalties for shoplifting in Virginia are as follows:
- For stealing more than $5 but less than $500: This is considered petit larceny, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor. For this charge, you may spend up to one year in jail and face a $2,500 fine.
- More than $500: This is considered grand larceny, which is a felony. For this charge, you may face up to 20 years of imprisonment, as well as very high fines.
In many cases, those who’ve been convicted of shoplifting charges will also have to pay restitution to the establishment they confiscated the merchandise from. Convicted shoplifters should also expect to be banned from the premises. Our Richmond shoplifting attorney is here to fight your charges at every turn.
Potential Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges
When it comes to shoplifting charges, in many cases, there are several potential defenses that our Richmond criminal defense attorney can use. Depending on the circumstances of your case, our firm may use any of the following defenses:
- You intended to pay for the item and had not yet left the premises
- They apprehended the wrong person
- You didn’t realize that you accidentally walked out of the store with an item before paying
- Failure to produce discovery
Contact a Richmond Shoplifting Attorney
No one should have to face the potentially severe ramifications of a shoplifting charge on their own, which is why our firm is here, ready to fight for you. Contact James A. Bullard Jr. P.C. today to schedule your initial consultation with our legal team.