Speak with a proven Prince William County Petit Larceny Attorney
At the Flynn Law Firm, we recognize that shoplifting, and other theft related charges can have (besides potential incarceration) incredibly serious collateral consequences in one’s life. Besides potential jail time, theft related convictions can cause the loss of a job, prevent future employment, and even expulsion from school. Additionally, many of these charges carry with them serious collateral consequences, such as the loss of a security clearance, the right to vote or possess a firearm, and/or very serious immigration consequences. You need a proven Prince William County Petit Larceny Attorney to fight for you, so that you and your loved ones can rest knowing that you are in good hands!
In Virginia, theft charges are still classified as larcenies, a term dating back hundreds of years. There are two classifications of larceny: Grand Larceny and Petit (pronounced “petty”) Larceny. Grand Larceny is an unclassified felony that has a penalty of up to twenty years in the penitentiary. Petit Larceny, on the other hand is a Class 1 Misdemeanor, with a potential consequence of up to one year in jail. Finally, there is Larceny with Intent to Sell. Larceny with Intent to Sell, like Grand Larceny is an unclassified felony with a maximum of up to 20 years. However, under this statute, there is a 2-year minimum prison sentence if you are convicted.
There is only one difference between Grand Larceny and Petit Larceny: the value of the allegedly stolen item. If the value of the item is greater than $200, then it is considered felony Grand Larceny. Any item valued at $200 or less is a misdemeanor petit larceny. It should be noted that in the Commonwealth of Virginia, any third or subsequent theft – regardless of where the theft occurred, when it occurred, or for how much the items stolen were valued – is automatically considered a felony. Thus, a petit larceny involving a bag of potato chips could trigger a felony prosecution, if you have two prior theft convictions on your record – even if they are REALLY old, in a different state, for a very little amount, or even all of the above.
A larceny is the intentional taking of the personal property of another, with the intent to deprive the owner of that property indefinitely. The thing about larcenies is that the crime is often accomplished (in theory) before the alleged perpetrator has left the premises. The prosecutor needs to prove that the perpetrator took (or concealed) merchandise, and that when they took / concealed it, they had the intent to take it from the owner and not return it. Because it is impossible to prove what someone is thinking, the prosecutor will use circumstantial evidence to “prove” what the alleged perpetrator was thinking. Thus, if an alleged shoplifter places an item in their pocket, and they look around to see if anyone saw them, and then speedily walks past all points of sale, then the prosecutor will use that as the proof of the shoplifter’s intent.
If you or someone you care about has been charged in Prince William County for shoplifting, petit larceny, grand larceny or any other theft-related offense, contact the Flynn Law Firm for a free consultation. We are an African American law firm with 8 years of experience with petit larceny cases. These charges are serious, you deserve to be represented by an attorney that you trust and that will fight for you to the very end. Give us a call today for a free consultation.