If you are currently facing shoplifting charges, you must retain the services of an experienced shoplifting attorney who will fight for your rights in court. Continue reading to discover the legal penalties for shoplifting in Virginia. Plus, learn the potential defenses your defense attorney might use if you are facing shoplifting charges.
What are the legal penalties for shoplifting in Virginia?
When someone unlawfully takes property from another person with the intent to permanently deprive the rightful owner of that property, this is considered larceny. Shoplifting is a type of larceny. The following acts are considered shoplifting:
- Altering price tags
- Switching price tags
- Pretending to pay for merchandise and leaving without paying
- Concealing an item with the intent to leave without paying for the item
You may face several legal penalties if you are caught shoplifting in Virginia. However, the penalties will depend on the dollar value of the merchandise stolen. The penalties for shoplifting in Virginia are as follows:
- Stealing items that amount to more than $5 but less than $500: This is considered petit larceny. Petit larceny is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. Individuals convicted of petit larceny may spend up to one year in jail and face a $2,500 fine.
- More than $500 is considered grand larceny. Grand larceny is a considered felony. Individuals convicted of grand larceny may face up to 20 years of imprisonment and high fines.
- Individuals who are convicted of shoplifting charges will also have to pay restitution to the establishment that they shoplifted from. They will also likely be banned from the premises.
Defenses Against Shoplifting Charges
There are several different defenses that a criminal defense might use when defending an individual against shoplifting charges. Our firm may use any of the following defenses if you are facing shoplifting charges:
- You did not realize that you were leaving the store with an unpaid item
- Failure to produce discovery
- You intended to pay for the item and had not yet left the premises
- The police apprehended the wrong person
Contact Our Firm
If you live in Virginia and have been charged with a crime, the time to speak with an experienced Richmond criminal defense attorney is now. Led by Attorney James A. Bullard Jr., our firm has fought on behalf of clients facing serious legal penalties for decades. We handle various criminal and traffic cases, including reckless driving tickets, DUIs, violent crimes, drug crimes, and so much more. Contact James A. Bullard Jr. P.C. today so we can begin formulating a comprehensive defense on your behalf.