Hampton Roads Shoplifting Lawyer 

Shoplifting is stealing goods for sale. The person takes the items without paying for them and without permission to take them. The prosecution hs to show that there was an item or items taken or that they were taken from a store and they were taken without permission or without paying for the items. If you are dealing with shoplifting charges, contact a Hampton Roads shoplifting lawyer immediately. A skilled attorney can provide legal guidance.

Shoplifting vs. Larceny

Shoplifting is a type of larceny. It is a subcategory of larceny, but it is a different code section and that involves the person taking possession of merchandise that was on sale. However, the person is not purchasing it, whereas with larceny it belongs to an individual and not a store or a company. In Virginia, shoplifting is illegal. It is under code section 18.2-103 and that sets up the punishments and the elements.

Penalties of Shoplifting Conviction

Shoplifting is treated the same in terms of sentencing as a larceny charge. If it is less than $500, it is a misdemeanor and if it is more than $500, it is a class six felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The person could go to jail for misdemeanor shoplifting and the charge could go on their criminal record. It could affect future employment if the person is convicted. When they run the person’s record and they see a shoplifting, it is also considered a crime of moral turpitude because it is a stealing charge. It can affect the person’s credibility and future irrevocably, which is why it is important to contact a Hampton Roads theft lawyer.

Consequences for Second-Time Offender

If a person is a repeat offender, that is something that the Commonwealth would take into consideration before the person makes any plea offer or agrees to any reduction. It can work against the person. The first time could be considered an accident, but if the person has multiple charges, it tends to look less like an accident.

Strategies By a Hampton Roads Shoplifting Lawyer

A Hampton Roads shoplifting lawyer looks to see what the evidence shows. How are they establishing that these items were actually taken? How can they show that the individual had the intention to shoplift? Assuming that the accuser was caught at the store, how can they show that the person was indeed shoplifting and not intending to pay before they left? A Hampton Roads shoplifting lawyer will look at the evidence and try to see if there is a way they can show that the individual was not shoplifting.

Prosecution of Shoplifting

A prosecution has to prove that a person accused took items from a store by either taking them out of the store or trying to alter a price tag of the items. Through these actions, the prosecution must show that the individual had the intent to permanently deprive the store of those items and that they were not going to pay for the items. Then if it is alleged to be a felony based on the value of the items, they have to show that the value of the items meets or exceeds $500.

Hiring a Local Attorney

Each jurisdiction is a little different in Hampton Roads and the person would want somebody who knows the area, who knows how each jurisdiction handles those types of charges, and which ones give the person the opportunity take a charge off the person’s record. Other jurisdictions will give the person jail time even for a first-offense shoplifting. The person would want someone who knows that going in and can possibly steer the person away from a judge who would be less sympathetic. If you are facing charges, you should contact a Hampton Roads shoplifting attorney as soon as possible. The sooner an attorney can start working on your case and start gathering evidence the better.