Arrested For Shoplifting In Hampton Roads?
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Have you been arrested for shoplifting in Norfolk? Or perhaps you’re facing similar criminal charges for allegedly stealing merchandise from a store in Newport News, Virginia Beach, or another community in Hampton Roads, Virginia.
Depending on the value of the items you were accused of stealing and many other factors, the consequences can be serious. You could face significant fines or jail time if convicted, especially if you have been charged with grand larceny. That’s why you need to act fast to protect your rights after your arrest.
Our Norfolk, VA criminal defense attorneys at Welch & Wright, PLLC know exactly what to do. We have years of experience representing people arrested for shoplifting in the Hampton Roads area and across Virginia. As a result, our trial lawyers know the courts and understand how the legal system actually works in Virginia. You can count on us when your freedom is on the line.
What is shoplifting?
Shoplifting is a general term used to describe taking merchandise from a retail store without paying for the items. This might sound straightforward. However, shoplifting charges in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be vague and confusing. For example, someone can be charged with shoplifting even if they never left the store with the merchandise they were accused of stealing. This is why it’s important to talk to a Virginia criminal defense lawyer familiar with the state’s theft and larceny laws right away if you have been accused, arrested, or charged with shoplifting.
Different criminal charges for shoplifting in Virginia
Shoplifting is a form of larceny, the legal term for theft in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In general, criminal charges for shoplifting vary depending on the value of the merchandise someone is accused of stealing.
If the merchandise is valued at less than $1,000, it is petit larceny; if it is valued at $1,000 or more, the offense is grand larceny. Virginia Code 18.2-95 formally explains the difference between larceny and grand larceny in Virginia.
Another common criminal charge for shoplifting in Virginia involves the “willful concealment of goods or merchandise” in a store. This act can be considered evidence of intent to steal the merchandise. Virginia Code 18.2-103 explains this larceny charge.
Penalties for shoplifting conviction
The penalties for a shoplifting conviction in Virginia often depend on two things: the value of the stolen merchandise and whether the person was previously convicted of shoplifting.
If the items are valued at less than $1,000, the penalty for a first-time conviction is up to 12 months in prison and/or up to $2,500 fine.
If the items are valued at more than $1,000, the penalty for a first-time conviction is 1 to 20 years in prison or – at the discretion of the judge or jury – up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
If someone is convicted of shoplifting for the second or subsequent times in Virginia, most judges and juries sentence the person to some form of jail time.
Legal defenses for shoplifting charges?
If you have been accused and charged with larceny in connection with shoplifting in Virginia, there are many legal defenses possible in such situations, including proving:
- You did not steal the items you are accused of shoplifting.
- The value of the items is less than what the store claims you stole, which can reduce your larceny charge and could result in a less severe penalties.
- The arresting police officer violated your rights during your shoplifting arrest.
- There is no evidence that you committed shoplifting or larceny of any kind.
Put your trust in us. Contact our law firm
Don’t simply assume your Virginia shoplifting charge will be reduced or dismissed, even if you know you did nothing wrong. Many times, you need to launch a strong legal defense. Otherwise, you could be fined or face even more severe penalties, including jail time.
Our experienced Norfolk, VA shoplifting defense attorneys know what’s at stake. As your legal team, we can aggressively investigate your case and fight for your rights in court. Our trial lawyers know Virginia’s law and understand how the legal system works in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. That’s why we have such a strong track record of success.
Put your trust in a Norfolk law firm that puts your needs first. Contact us to learn more about your legal rights. Schedule a free case evaluation with one of our experienced Norfolk criminal defense lawyers right now. Your freedom is our mission.