Though shoplifting may seem like a small crime, the penalties associated with it can be quite severe and lead to everlasting consequences. Depending on the total value of items shoplifted, those charged with shoplifting can either be faced with a misdemeanor or felony conviction. Individuals convicted of this charge often face lifelong consequences as a result of their actions, such as trouble acquiring housing or the inability to find employment. Those charged with shoplifting crimes should seek experienced legal counsel in order to mitigate potential penalties and legal ramifications.
Virginia State Laws On Shoplifting
According to Virginia Code §18.2-103, shoplifting is defined as willfully concealing and/or taking the possession of goods from a store with the intent of converting to your own use without paying full price. Not only does shoplifting apply to items that have been outright stolen, but also applies to individuals who replace price tags on items in order to pay less than the full price of the item that is being purchased. Simply concealing items with the intent to take is also considered a form of shoplifting, even if you do not leave the store with the item.
The severity of shoplifting charges is based on the total amount of which has been shop-lifted. The charges for shoplifted items totaling under $200 are considered petty larceny, a class 1 misdemeanor, and carries penalties ranging from fines to upward of a year in jail. Grand larceny, shoplifted items totaling over $200, a felony which carries 1-20 years in jail and fines up to $2,500.
Why To Seek Legal Counsel
In order to successfully prosecute an individual charged with shoplifting, the prosecutor must prove intent to steal or pay less than full price. Those who have been wrongfully accused should seek legal counsel to avoid repercussions for a crime that may have not been committed. An experienced criminal defense attorney can gather information and evidence proving the intent to shoplift was not present and can potentially acquire an acquittal for the defendant.
Reach Out To A Defense Attorney
For those who have been charged with shoplifting, it is important to seek legal counsel prior to the hearing. For more information, reach out to the experienced criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Kermit A. Monge by calling 703.273.5500 or request a consultation online today.