A Virginia shoplifting lawyer is a good resource for questions surrounding shoplifting. Behavior that constitutes as shoplifting involves an act concealing goods while in a store. A person may take possession of those goods, alter the price tags on those items, or transfer the goods from one container to another with the intent to deprive the owner of the property. Consult with a qualified attorney for more on the subject.
There are a couple of differences between shoplifting and larceny. Larceny involves the taking of property from somebody’s person, whereas there that has to be a store involved in shoplifting. Larceny also deals more with the taking of someone’s property than shoplifting does.
The law allows briefly detaining somebody who is suspected of shoplifting for a period of time in order to investigate that allegation. A shop-owner can prevent someone from leaving the store until they investigate that allegation. This is the only law that is relevant to shoplifting.
Shoplifting is divided into two categories depending on the value of the items. If the value of the items is less than $500, it is charged as petty larceny or petty shoplifting. If it is more than $500, it is considered grand larceny. It is punished the same way the typical larceny categories are. If it is petty larceny, that is a Class One misdemeanor, it means $2,500 in fines and is also up to 12 months in jail. If it is grand larceny, it is one year to 20 years in prison and also the fine is up to $2,500 as well. A third conviction of shoplifting would once again raise the level of severity from the misdemeanor to the grand larceny that comes with a mandatory minimum of five years in prison.
If the value of the property is more than $500 then the charge will come as a felony. If it is the third conviction of that charge, or a person is charged for the third time with shoplifting, the penalty is going to be assessed based on the grand larceny aspect and there will be a mandatory minimum of five years in prison. A Virginia shoplifting lawyer can speak more towards felony consequences.
Frequently, stores will have cameras recording what is going on. The cameras are often used as evidence in shoplifting cases that either exonerate or incriminate a person. A lot of times, there is some camera footage that can be subpoenaed directly from the store or the business in order to prove or disprove whether this offense took place. Shoplifting is different from other theft offenses in the sense that it is more likely that direct evidence can be used.
It is also different in that there are different ways that a person can arrive at shoplifting, such as concealing the items, altering the price or transferring them from container to container. The nature of it is different, and a lot of behaviors would fall into that. A busy store with a lot of shoppers can lead to misunderstandings.
Shoplifting situations involve different parts that make it difficult to navigate alone. With the help of a seasoned Virginia shoplifting lawyer, you can experience a smoother case with proper advice and guidance.