What is Grand Larceny in Virginia?
“Any person who (i) commits larceny from the person of another of money or other thing of value of $5 or more, (ii) commits simple larceny not from the person of another of goods and chattels of the value of $500 or more, or (iii) commits simple larceny not from the person of another of any firearm, regardless of …value, shall be guilty of grand larceny, punishable by…not less than 1 nor more than 20 years…”Va. Code 18.2-95
What does this mean for you?
Virginia defines all theft and theft-related crimes as “Larceny,” which includes both petit and grand larceny. The difference between the two is the dollar amount in controversy. You will be charged with grand larceny for taking more than $5 off of a person or taking goods from a store worth $500 or more. Also, a third or subsequent charge of larceny in Virginia is Grand Larceny regardless of the dollar amount.
How is Grand Larceny punished in Virginia?
If convicted, Grand Larceny is a felony criminal conviction that carries up to 20 years in jail as punishment. And that is not all. If convicted you might owe civil liabilities on top of the criminal punishment. (Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-44.4(a)).
“A merchant may recover civil judgment against any adult who shoplifts from that merchant for two times the unpaid retail value of the merchandise, but in no event an amount less than $50. However, if the merchant recovers the merchandise in merchantable condition, he shall be entitled to liquidated damages of no more than $350.”Va. Code Ann. § 8.01-44.4(a)
Should you get an Attorney?
An attorney can be crucial in a larceny case. The Commonwealth has to prove that you took an item with a value of $5/$500 or more, without the owner’s consent, and that you intended to permanently deprive the owner of this property.
An attorney can help you ensure whether these elements can be proven in court. If the prosecution cannot prove the elements, then an attorney will vigorously defend your rights at a trial. If the prosecution can prove the elements, then an attorney may be instrumental in negotiating a reasonable plea agreement or advising you on any alternative disposition options that you may have. Speak with an attorney before considering any plea offer.
Grand larceny is a felony charge which cannot be expunged in Virginia. This can impact your future employment, immigration status, and security clearance among other issues.
While each case is different, attorneys from our office have successfully had charges dismissed, mitigated, or lowered to misdemeanors for their clients. Contact us today for a consultation.