The distinction between shoplifting and petit larceny is the way they are prosecuted. Fairfax shoplifting offenses are typically treated the same way as a larceny offense. Shoplifting itself means that the accused has allegedly, intentionally taken and carried away something that is the property of the business without the business’ consent and without paying for it. Altering tags under a slightly different statute is also considered shoplifting.
Shoplifting law specifically has wording in it that refers to the intention of altering the price tag in an establishment, transferring the goods from one point to another, and helping somebody else do that to get more or less than $500. If you have been accused of doing any of the aforementioned crimes, it may be critical to speak with an experienced shoplifting lawyer right away. It can be beneficial to have legal counsel that can speak on your behalf when necessary.
Virginia shoplifting offenses are considered concealment crimes. Shoplifting shares the elements of a petit larceny offense such as taking something without the consent of or payment to the business. This is often interpreted as taking something out of the business past the point of sale. In order for someone to be charged with shoplifting, specific elements must be proven by the prosecution by a combination of the common law and the concealment statute.
The only difference between shoplifting and every other petit larceny is a separate part of the legal code, which allows a person to be convicted of shoplifting if they are concealing items, switching containers, changing the price tag, or helping someone else shoplift.
Larceny is the umbrella term for related theft offenses. Fairfax shoplifting offenses fall under the concealment statute of the law. It is prosecuted in the same way as a larceny charge. If a person takes or conceals the items in a store or a business or alters the price tag of the item, once they get past the point of sale it is going to be shoplifting for which there are two levels. It is either going to be grand larceny or petit larceny. A petit larceny is going to be under $500 for shoplifting. Grand larceny is going to be $500 or more.
One potential defense is for an attorney to call the business in an attempt to get the video footage. Video footage could potentially be erased after seven to 30 days, depending on the business policy. An attorney can try speaking with witnesses involved, including the loss prevention officer because they know they would have to cross-examine them on the stand.
After interviewing the witness, a lawyer can make comparisons to what is shown on any video footage and any physical documents they have to support their case. Anyone facing Fairfax shoplifting offenses should hire an experienced theft attorney because every county differs in how they treat these scenarios. In some counties, it is possible to get the case dropped through a significant amount of community service.