Virginia Criminal Defense Attorney
Crimes involving theft may be relatively common in Mecklenburg County, but that does not mean they are considered minor offenses. Depending on the type of property involved or where it is located, a theft crime may be treated as a serious felony even if the value of the property is very low.
So it is important to give serious attention to any theft charges and take prompt action to build the best possible legal defense. When you work with an experienced Mecklenburg County theft lawyer, your attorney could start right away collecting and preserving vital evidence to help you reach the best possible outcome in your case. Call today and set up a consultation with a dedicated criminal defense attorney.
The term “theft” is not really used in the Virginia code. Instead, the crimes defined in Virginia statutes include larceny, robbery, embezzlement, and burglary. In addition, the Virginia code includes a number of specific larceny offenses that involve particular commodities or situations and provide specific penalties.
While a few of these offenses can be considered misdemeanors, they are treated as the most serious form of misdemeanor. Most of the theft crimes are punished as felonies. For more information about the different types of theft crimes, consult with a knowledgeable lawyer.
Larceny is what most people in Mecklenburg County think of as “theft.” When someone intentionally takes the property of another person without the use or threat of violence, that unlawful taking without the permission of the owner is considered larceny. In some cases, it must be shown that the whoever took the property intended to permanently deprive the owner of it, while in other cases, a temporary taking is sufficient to constitute larceny.
A petit larceny occurs when the value of the property involved is less than $500—but only if the property is not taken directly from someone’s body. When property is taken directly from “the person of another,” as in a pickpocket situation, then the value of that property must be less than $5 to constitute petit larceny. Otherwise, the crime becomes grand larceny.
In addition, if someone commits a larceny and takes a firearm, the crime also becomes a grand larceny, even if the gun is worth a lot less than $500.
A petit larceny is treated as a Class 1 misdemeanor, which means that the maximum term of imprisonment for this offense is one year, and the maximum fine that may be imposed is $2,500. Grand larceny, on the other hand, is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Different circumstances turn a theft crime from something simple like larceny to a more serious offense. The use or threat of violence, a breach of trust, or breaking into a building can aggravate a theft into one of these offenses with the following penalties:
While the range of penalties may be the same for some of these other offenses as for simple larceny, the aggravating circumstances can cause the court to sentence the individual convicted more severely. Therefore, it is important for a defendant to call a Mecklenburg County theft lawyer.
The circumstances of a case as perceived by the court can make a huge difference in the severity of a theft crime. So, it is wise to uncover and present as much favorable evidence as possible. The sooner a Mecklenburg County theft lawyer begins working on your case, the easier it will be to obtain evidence and take actions that help you move toward the best possible outcome in your case. For a free consultation to learn how an experienced theft attorney in Mecklenburg County could help you, contact the office now.