Newport News Theft Lawyer

Being accused of theft can be a challenge against your character and integrity.  It means that someone is saying that you took something that did not belong to you without proper authorization.  On top of the social punishment of societal judgment that can accompany an accusation of theft, the law in Newport News, Virginia has imposed harsh consequences if you are proven guilty in a courtroom. An experienced Newport News theft lawyer may be able to mitigate your penalties by creating a robust defense that can possibly keep you away from jail time and expensive fines.

Theft Laws in Newport News

Theft is commonly known as the act of taking an item or items from a person or place without required permission.  However, the law in Virginia does not specifically define the crime of theft. Instead, it uses the term “theft” to create an umbrella, under which the crimes of larceny, robbery, and burglary are housed. A Newport News theft lawyer can help with larceny, embezzlement, and false pretenses.

Larceny

While larceny involves the crime of stealing, the law in Virginia adds more specificity to the act by separating the crime into two categories: grand and petit.  Whether the larceny is considered to be grand or petit has huge implications when it comes to the type of punishment a court is permitted to impose.

The law, found in Virginia Code Section 18.2-95 , classifies the larceny as being grand if any of the following take place:

  • An item is stolen directly from another person that was worth at least $5
  • The items taken are worth at least $500
  • A gun (or firearm of any kind) is stolen

You may be found guilty of committing petit larceny, according to Section 18.2-96, if:

  • An item is stolen directly from another person that is worth less than $5
  • Items are stolen (but not directly from another person) worth less than $500

Penalty

Section 18.2-96 considers petit larceny to be a class 1 misdemeanor.  If you are found to have committed a class 1 misdemeanor, you could face:

  • Confinement in jail for up to 12 months (1st Conviction)
  • A fine as high as $2,500 (1st Conviction)
  • A minimum of 30 days in jail (2nd Conviction)

If you are facing your third charge, it’s even more important that you contact a Newport News theft lawyer as you may be facing a class 6 felony.  In Virginia, punishment for being convicted of a class 6 felony is:

  • One to five years in prison

Since grand larceny is considered to be more serious than petit larceny, grand larceny carries a stricter punishment if you are convicted.  In Virginia, you are facing a felony conviction on your first offense which carries a punishment of at least one year in jail with the potential for up to 20 years depending upon the severity of your crime.

Robbery

In Virginia, robbery is considered to be a more violent version of larceny.  Thus, if the theft was accompanied by a violent act or threat, it is possible you may be facing a robbery conviction.

A robbery conviction is considered to be a felony in Virginia and Section 18.2-58 states that the punishment can range from five years to life in prison.

Burglary

The law in Virginia considers the crime of breaking and entering another person’s home, to be burglary.

Section 18.2-89 states that a person is guilty of burglary if all of the following took place:

  • He or she breaks into a house
  • He or she enters the house
  • The house belongs to another person
  • The breaking and entering takes place at night
  • He or she has the intent to steal or commit a felony within the house

If a person is found to be guilty of burglary, section 18.2-89 allows a court to convict him or her with a class 3 felony which allows a court to issue a punishment of five to 20 years in prison and, at the court’s discretion, a fine of up to $100,000.

However, the penalty can increase to a class 2 felony which carries a possible punishment of 20 years to life in prison and, at the court’s discretion, a fine of up to $100,000, depending upon the severity of your crime.

How a Newport News Theft Lawyer Can Help You

The theft penalties in Virginia can be harsh but they depend upon both the details of your case and how well your attorney knows the law.  An experienced Newport News theft lawyer will build a strong defense that will put you in the best possible position to receive a positive result in your case.

If you are currently facing a theft charge in Virginia consult with an experienced Newport News theft lawyer today.