While theft is a common and seemingly minor offense in Brunswick County, charges involving theft should be left to chance. Even if you do not receive jail time, an admission of guilt creates a criminal record that could make it difficult to find housing, obtain employment, or get a loan. It may even cause problems with personal relationships. A criminal record is potentially visible to anyone with access to the Internet.
If you are facing theft charges or may be accused of theft, it is wise to take a proactive stance and consult an experienced Brunswick County theft lawyer immediately. A knowledgeable criminal attorney could advise you on how to protect your rights and your record, and advocate on your behalf.
As long as humans have owned property, people have accused other people of wrongfully taking that property. Since the taking may be accomplished by different means, there are now a variety of criminal statutes prohibiting different types of theft and setting forth penalties. This could involve:
Robbery and burglary combine a property offense with a potentially violent offense. These crimes may involve the use of deadly weapons, which could include a gun. Such offenses are treated more severely under the law. A Brunswick County theft lawyer could help a defendant understand which types of theft crimes they are facing, and how to defend against them.
The primary term used for theft under Virginia state criminal law is larceny. Someone commits larceny when they intentionally take property belonging to another without the use (or threatened use) of violence.
Virginia recognizes two basic forms of larceny. The lesser offense is petit larceny while the more serious version is grand larceny. While statutes also define shoplifting and other theft crimes, the penalties for such offenses are often equated to the penalties for petit and grand larceny.
A non-violent theft will be treated as petit larceny in most cases where the stolen property is worth less than $500. If the property is taken directly from someone’s body, the property must be worth less than $5 to be treated as petit larceny. This could include cases with a pickpocketing offense. Larceny of any firearm is treated as grand larceny.
While petit larceny is often treated as a misdemeanor, it is the most serious type, a Class 1 misdemeanor. Those convicted may be sentenced to up one year of imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500. The offense may be treated as a felony if the individual involved has prior convictions on the record.
Individuals may commit grand larceny if they take property worth $500 or more, or if they take virtually any property directly from the body of another person. Under Va. Code Ann. §18.2-95, those convicted of grand larceny may be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. A theft attorney in Brunswick County could help individuals fight petit or grand larceny charges.
Contingent on the situation and the prior history of the individual involved, there may be several different ways to handle a theft case. If you are facing theft charges, it is wise to work with an attorney who understands how local courts treat this offense. Your attorney could then devise a strategy designed for your needs.
When you work with an experienced Brunswick County theft lawyer, your attorney could collect and preserve evidence to build the best possible defense. Your legal counselor could provide advice and advocate on your behalf at all stages of the proceedings to help you work toward an affirmative outcome. To get started working toward a solution, call now.