Dale City Theft Attorney
While many states have consolidated all theft offenses into one statute, Virginia continues to maintain distinctions between each offense. A Dale City theft lawyer can represent you against any type of theft crime and will be best equipped to help minimize the impact of your charge. Those charges can vary widely and can include, but are not limited to:
- Grand and petit larceny
- Larceny by false pretenses
- Receiving stolen goods
- Vehicle theft
- Writing bad checks
- Credit card theft
- Welfare fraud
- Theft of computer services
There is nothing simple about a theft case. However, a dedicated Dale City theft attorney can simplify the process and help you understand how the legal system works. For example, sometimes the authorities may charge someone with the wrong offense, which can lead to serious complications as the legal process moves forward. Having a well-qualified and experienced criminal defense attorney may provide you with protection against police and prosecutors or inadvertent errors by the charging authorities. You can learn more about other criminal charges in Dale City here.
Virginia Theft Laws
Below is a list of some of the most common Virginia theft laws, including some finer details of each crime:
- Shoplifting: In Virginia, shoplifting fits into the category of larceny. The value of the stolen merchandise determines if the accused will be charged with grand larceny or petit larceny. If the value of the merchandise is less than $500, the accused will be charged with petit larceny. If the (VA Code Section 18.2-103).
- Grand larceny (VA Code Section 18.2-95): A charge of grand larceny is punishable by imprisonment for no less than one year and no more than 20 years or up to 12 months in jail. Along with this, a fine of no more than $2,500 can be imposed.
- Petit larceny (VA Code Section 18.2-96): While not as serious as grand larceny, this crime is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia.
- Larceny of checks (VA Code Section 18.2-98): Anybody who steals checks, a bank note, or any other paper of value can be charged with this crime. In this case, the same punishment imposed for grand or petit larceny of merchandise applies.
- Theft of computer services (VA Code Section 18.2-152.6): Anyone who obtains computer services without permission is guilty of theft of computer services, which is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. In the event that the theft is valued at greater than $2,500, the person is guilty of a Class 6 misdemeanor.
Types of Theft Offenses
The type of theft charge that is received will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- The value of the property
- The nature of the property
- The intent of the person charged with the crime
- The nature of how the theft occurred
A Dale City theft lawyer can help you understand the many types of theft offenses while working to protect your rights and your legal record. This may include fighting to have the charges dismissed or reduced, or taking the matter to trial and pushing for a not guilty verdict. In cases where an acquittal is unlikely, a skillful defense lawyer will work with the Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney to reach a plea agreement. Such agreements may avoid lengthy incarceration and other harsh measures that can be imposed by the court. Even misdemeanors can result in time behind bars and significant fines, which means that having skillful representation can work in your favor even if your individual circumstances are not ideal.
Court Evidence and Virginia Theft Crimes
Understanding the evidence that can be used against you is an important part of the process when preparing to fight a theft charge. If, for example, you are charged with shoplifting, prosecutors can call witnesses—including store employees—to testify against you in court. They can also try to introduce video surveillance as evidence.
In Virginia, evidence of larceny can be as simple as the accused failing to provide a valid explanation for the possession of the merchandise.
Whatever the evidence may be, a Dale City theft attorney will do work to exclude that evidence, subsequently improving your chance of avoiding a conviction and harsh punishment.
Schedule a Free Consultation
If you have been charged with theft, a qualified attorney can protect your rights and reputation while helping you through the complex legal system. Having an attorney who is familiar with Dale City—and the local court and authorities—is an advantage that should not be overlooked. This is why you should look for a criminal defense lawyer who has experience with cases similar to yours and who has local connections to the jurisdiction where you were charged. This will provide you with the necessary confidence for a successful defense. Contact our team today for your free consultation.