Fairfax Shoplifting Lawyer

In Virginia, a person can be charged with shoplifting even if he or she does not actually take anything from the store. Simply concealing merchandise may in some cases be grounds for a shoplifting charge.

If you have been accused of shoplifting in Virginia call a Fairfax shoplifting lawyer to help you minimize the harm. By contacting a shoplifting attorney in Fairfax you are giving yourself the best chance to beat your case.

Do I Need a Lawyer For Shoplifting Charges?

In Virginia, shoplifting may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the merchandise involved. Regardless of whether a person faces misdemeanor or felony theft charges, the penalties of a criminal conviction can be severe. Hiring a Fairfax shoplifting lawyer can help you avoid conviction or minimize any associated penalties of conviction.

Every case is unique, and each defendant has individual needs. We can closely evaluate the circumstances of a shoplifting arrest and charge to determine the best defense strategies for the case. Such strategies may involve one or more of the following:

  • Showing the defendant’s lack of intent to conceal or steal an item
  • Demonstrating mistaken identity in accusing the defendant of shoplifting
  • Challenging the value of the merchandise in question in order to reduce a felony charge to a misdemeanor charge
  • Negotiating probation and jail alternatives through diversion programs

While penalties are often more severe for repeat offenders, even first offenders could face felony charges for shoplifting. No criminal charge should be taken lightly. Your Fairfax shoplifting attorney will understand the severity of your charge and its potential consequences and work diligently to help you avoid them.

Virginia Larceny Laws and Shoplifting Penalties

Virginia classifies theft into two categories, depending on the value of the property or merchandise involved.

  • Petit larceny is the theft of money or property valued at less than $500. It is a misdemeanor with a maximum sentence of one year in jail and a $2,500 fine
  • Grand larceny is the theft of money or property valued at $500 or more. It is a felony with a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

The Virginia Code has a specific statute pertaining to shoplifting, and while the value of the merchandise remains the same for charging shoplifting as petit larceny or grand larceny, there are prohibited acts in addition to actual theft that allow a person to be charged with shoplifting.

Virginia Code Section 18.2-103 prohibits not only the act of taking merchandise from a store without paying for it, but also concealing it with the intent to shoplift and even altering price tags or switching packaging or containers in an attempt to pay less for an item. It is also a crime to help another person to shoplift. For example, if a person serves as a lookout for another, distracts store employees, or blocks a retailer’s view so that another person can shoplift, the person who “assists, aids or abets” faces the same potential penalties as a person who actually commits or attempts theft.

Finding a Fairfax Shoplifting Lawyer

Finding a Fairfax shoplifting who is familiar and comfortable with the local court system can bring you peace of mind in fighting your shoplifting charge. To learn more about our shoplifting defense services or to schedule your risk-free consultation, call today. We are ready to help.


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