Falls Church Shoplifting Lawyer

In Falls Church, shoplifting is the intent to steal goods. That includes not just actually taking the goods out, but also the intent to steal them as well. It is defined by statute in Falls Church and in the Code of Virginia as well. This can also include altering price tags, putting things from one container to another, and any kind of action in the performance of these things. Shoplifting is defined very broadly in the Virginia Code.

Shoplifting encompasses more things than larceny encompasses – larceny is going to be the taking of an object wrongfully, without the permission of the owner with the intent to permanently deprive. Shoplifting can be something as simple as switching the price tags without actually taking the object away.

A person would want to hire a Falls Church shoplifting lawyer because they cannot have a shoplifting conviction on their record and they will need an experienced theft attorney to help them fight the case and to find them not guilty.

Penalties

The penalties if a person is convicted of shoplifting in Falls Church are certainly going to depend on the amount that the product is worth and the elements of the crime, but they are going to be treated similarly to petty larceny and grand larceny. Depending on the value of the items and depending on the actual actions defined under the shoplifting statute, it could be treated as a misdemeanor offense, which would be incarceration up to 12 months in jail and up to $2,500 fine.

If it is something over $500, it is going to be potentially a prison sentence and potentially a fine of more than $2,500 as well making it important a shoplifting attorney in Falls Church is contacted.

Shoplifting can be considered a felony depending on the amount something is worth that the individual was accused of shoplifting. It is going to follow the guidelines of petty larceny and grand larceny; the $500 mark is where Virginia draws the line between misdemeanor and felony.

Second-Offense Consequences

A first time offender that is accused of shoplifting will have options. They might be able to do some kind of stop shop program where they are able to do community service or take a class and have their charges dismissed or do some kind of general continuance do those things and have the charged dismissed after that.

Somebody who is convicted of it for a second time will not have those options. They are going to be looking at a conviction and potentially jail time. Certainly, they will face a larger fine, but the entire charge is going to be taken much more seriously, therefore, warranting contacting with a Falls Church shoplifting attorney.

Role of an Attorney

A person charged with shoplifting would want to hire a Falls Church shoplifting lawyer because shoplifting is still theft. The penalties for shoplifting are the same as they would be for theft.

It could include a fine up to $2,500.00 and a term of jail or prison depending on the amount. Even though shoplifting can seem like it is not a big deal, it definitely is and it comes with all the same kinds of consequences and social stigma that any other type of theft charge would come with.

An attorney can ultimately help a person’s case immensely by building a strong defense and helping the person minimize the charges against them as much as possible.

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