Student Theft in Fairax

In Fairfax, theft is defined not necessarily by statute, but by a series of cases, case law, and the common law. Thus, theft in Virginia is defined as the unlawful taking of property that belongs to somebody else with the intent to permanently deprive that person of their property. Student theft encompasses a lot of different ideas and actions, but the general definition is the unlawful taking of property belonging to somebody else with the intent to permanently deprive that person of the property.

If you have been accused of student theft in Fairfax or other charges on your campus and would like to learn more about your defense options, review your case with a Fairfax student defense attorney.

Common Types of Theft

The most common types of theft that a student is charged with include petit larceny and grand larceny.

Petit larceny is theft of anything with a value of less than $200 and is charged as a misdemeanor. Common student theft charges for petit larceny include the theft of some textbooks, some cell phones, shoes, or any other property that might be found in a dorm room or a common area that somebody could take.

The other type of theft that a student is often charged with is grand larceny, which is the theft of items with a value over $200. A grand larceny charge is charged as a felony. This is easy in a university situation because computers and most cell phones are worth more than $200. Certain textbooks are worth over $200, as well, so depending on the items that were allegedly taken and their value, a student could be charged with grand larceny.

Other Instances of Theft On Campus

Using another person’s ID to take their exam encompasses many different types of  offenses. It could be considered identify theft, which is a criminal offense and is tantamount to falsification as far as administrative sanctions go in the school. It also could be considered some type of serious on-record violation, like plagiarism and bullying, or cheating and stealing. It probably would hit all of the negative honor code violations for a school, but it would also be considered a criminal offense in Virginia, where identity theft is a serious criminal offense.


Depending on what you are specifically charged with, the criminal penalties can range from a misdemeanor with a maximum of one year in jail, a $2,500 fine, or time in prison for a felony offense. It depends on the value of the property taken, the nature of the property, and whether or not it was taken from a person.

There are many different elements of theft, but if it is charged as a misdemeanor, it can be up to a year in jail. If it is charged as a felony, it could be up to many years in prison, depending on the circumstances of the incident.

Impact on a Student’s Future

The impact a Fairfax student theft conviction can have on a student’s future will be a negative one, and will depend on the circumstances of the charge. An employer will look unkindly on somebody who has a theft offense on their criminal record when they are looking to hire. Due to the stigma of dishonesty associated with a theft offense in Fairfax the person is perceived as not trustworthy and there is worry that the person will misappropriate the employer’s funds or abuse their trust. It has a negative implication regarding future employers and grant programs. Generally, nobody wants to see a student theft charge in a person applying to be part of their program or community.

Contact a Fairfax Student Defense Lawyer

A student charged with theft should contact a Fairfax student defense lawyer immediately. Even before they are charged if they suspect they are being investigated for the theft or if an RA wants to know if the individual has seen a particular item, they should get in touch with a Fairfax student defense attorney. An individual can guide you through the theft charges and advise you on who to talk to and who not to talk to in this facility. They can advise you about conversations that you have with the police, with the RA, or with the administration so that you do not make statements that could be potentially incriminating, especially in situations where you are facing both university sanctions and potential criminal liability in the state of Fairfax.

You have less protection under university code and under university investigations than you do in the criminal system in Virginia, so it is extremely important to watch what you say and who you say it to if there is a chance that you could potentially be investigated in the future. A Fairfax Student attorney can help mitigate student theft charges.

Contact Us
Free Consultation