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Shoplifting Laws in Virginia

Facing theft charges in Virginia Beach?

Shoplifting is a type of larceny crime in Virginia that poses the risk of serious consequences. The reason that this offense is harsher than others is that you may not only be facing criminal penalties. Merchants in these cases can also sue in civil court for their own damages. This offense involves intentionally defrauding the merchant of the property or the full value of the goods.

There are several different ways that this can be done, including:

  • Taking property out of the store without paying
  • Altering price tags
  • Changing the container of a product to pay a lesser price

The penalties for shoplifting will depend on whether it is charged as petit larceny or grand larceny. Petit larceny shoplifting would involve taking goods that have a value under $200 while grand larceny shoplifting would involve property above $200. Grand larceny shoplifting can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on the decision of the jury. Petit larceny shoplifting is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia.

Virginia Penalties for Shoplifting

The breakdown of penalties for shoplifting offenses include:

  • Petit larceny shoplifting:
    • Jail sentence of up to 12 months
    • A fine of up to $2,500
  • Grand larceny shoplifting:
    • Jail sentence between one and 20 years
    • A fine of up to $2,500

You can fight against your larceny charges and avoid serious penalties by teaming up with a qualified criminal defense lawyer in Virginia Beach. On top of the criminal penalties, you may also have to appear in civil court depending on if the merchant chooses to sue for damages. They may be able to recover damages up to two times the retail value plus compensation for their attorney costs. You can set up a free case evaluation with me at any time to see how I may be able to help.

Contact Thoman Law, PLLC to work towards building a solid defense for your theft charges.

“He was very thorough and respectful, he helped vindicate me in a situation I thought was virtually impossible because of the circumstances. I definitely recommend him as a defense attorney.”

- Past Client
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