Portsmouth Theft Lawyer  

While the general concept behind theft is simple to understand, Virginia’s laws concerning theft are somewhat complex. Depending upon the value of the items alleged to have been taken, the type of item, and the identity of the alleged victim, the penalty for a conviction can vary greatly.

It is not only illegal to take an item to which a person has no right, but it is also illegal to destroy another’s property. In addition, merely receiving property that one knows is stolen is illegal. Any conviction for even a minor theft offense is punishable for up to twelve months in jail.

A Portsmouth theft lawyer could help clients who are facing allegations of theft of any kind. Whether these are charges of petit larceny, grand larceny, or anywhere in between, a committed criminal defense lawyer could help defend your rights in court.

The Levels of General Theft in Virginia

Theft as an offense is known as larceny in Virginia’s criminal code. Within the concept of larceny are two versions of the charge. The basic level of larceny is known as petit larceny. Under VA Code §18.2-96, a petit larceny is any theft from the person of another valued at under $5. In addition, a petit larceny is also a theft of another’s property not off their person valued at under $500. Petit larceny is a class I misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

The other core version of larceny is grand larceny according to VA Code §18.2-95. This more serious version of larceny is a felony that carries a minimum prison sentence of one year up to a maximum of 20. This applies whenever a person takes property off the person of another in excess of $5 in value. Additionally, any other theft in excess of $500 is a felony as is any theft of a firearm.

A dedicated attorney in Portsmouth could help clients to better understand Virginia’s theft laws and how they affect their case.

Receipt of Stolen Property

Not only is it illegal to actually steal items, but it is also illegal to participate in the theft in any way. One way that the law punishes this activity is in prosecuting people alleged to have received stolen property. According to VA Code §18.2-108, it is illegal to possess stolen goods with the knowledge that they were stolen. In addition, it is illegal to purchase, conceal, or otherwise aid in the theft of an item.

According to the statute, the punishment for the receipt of any stolen goods is punishable by the same penalties that would apply if the defendant actually stole the items. It is important to realize that a prosecutor can only prove their case if they can show that the defendant knew the items were stolen. For example, if a friend gifts a pair of shoes to a defendant and the defendant did not know where they came from, they are not guilty of receipt of stolen goods.

Talk to a Portsmouth Theft Attorney Today

Theft, or larceny as it is known in Virginia, is a serious criminal offense. A conviction for even petit larceny is a misdemeanor offense that may result in up to a year in jail. More serious versions of theft are felonies that carry a mandatory prison sentence of one year. In addition, merely helping another person to commit a theft or receiving stolen goods are also theft offenses.

A Portsmouth theft lawyer may be able to help defendants facing any kind of criminal theft charge. They could work to dispute the identity of the alleged thief, that the theft was done off a person’s body, or that the defendant knew that the items received were stolen. Contact an attorney today to discuss your case.