The Law of Larceny in Fairfax County, Virginia
What is Larceny in Virginia
Most people have heard the word larceny, but with different forms, types, and severities of larceny it can be hard to understand its basic definition. In short, larceny is simply Virginia's theft crime. With that being said, to be convicted of any form of larceny in Virginia, the Commonwealth most prove that there was:
A fraudulent taking of something of value, belonging to another
The taking was without permission or consent
The Defendant had the intention of permanently depriving the owner of possession of the item
The difference in severity of larceny charges rests on the value of the item taken. Larceny can either be a felony or misdemeanor depending on the item's value. In Virginia, the Felony equivalent of larceny is called Grand Larceny and the misdemeanor variation is called Petit Larceny. Let's dissect the more serious incarnation of the crime first.
Grand Larceny in Virginia Explained
There are two ways for a crime to be charged as Grand Larceny in Fairfax. The first, is where the value of the item taken is valued at $500 or more (changing to $1000 or more in July 2020). VA Code § 18.2-95. The second is when the theft occurred physically from the person of another individual and the value of the property was over $5.
Because Grand Larceny is a Felony in Virginia, the punishment has the potential of being severe. Grand Larceny is punishable with up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to a $2,500 fine. Grand Larceny is a Class U Felony in Virginia.
Petit Larceny in Virginia Explained
Petit Larceny can be thought of as the little brother of Grand Larceny. In Virginia, Petit Larceny is only a Class 1 Misdemeanor. Starting in July 2020, Petit Larceny will be any larceny of property valued at under $1,000. It is punishable by up to 1 year in prison and up to a $2,500 fine. VA Code § 18.2-96.
How to Deal with a Larceny Charge in Virginia
Many times the goal of police officers, prosecutors, and loss prevention officers is returning the value of the item taken. For this reason, paying restitution for the value of the stolen property is a common component if the defendant wishes to get a positive outcome in the case. In addition, defendants can improve their chances of a favorable outcome by doing community service hours or a shoplifting prevention class before court.
In Fairfax, Virginia, defendants can elect to enroll in the O.A.R. Program, which is an official program which allows individuals to earn a dismissal of their charge by doing certain classes and community service hours. (50 hours of community service, general good behavior for 4 months, 3 hour shop lifting course, and $100 dollar program fee). The downside of using the O.A.R. Program is even though the charge can be dismissed, it will not be eligible for expungement off your record.
Getting an experienced lawyer on your case can ensure the charge is dismissed without utilizing the O.A.R's first offender program to allow your charge to eventually be expunged.
How We Can Help
The Pickett Law Group, PLLC is an experienced law firm with two generations of former prosecutors, who have fought from both sides of the courtroom on issues like Grand Larceny and Petit Larceny. Our experience allows us to think like the prosecution and understand the tactics they will attempt will utilize against you. Contact us today and we will begin fighting on your behalf to keep you out of jail. See below for a sample of some of the results we've been able to get clients on larceny charges.
LARCENY CASE RESULTS:
JANUARY 28, 2020
FAIRFAX COUNTY GENERAL DISTRICT COURT
Petit Larceny Charge dropped (nolle prosequi) by the Commonwealth.
MARCH 16, 2020
LOUDOUN GENERAL DISTRICT COURT
Petit Larceny & Underage Possession of Alcohol Charge dropped (nolle prosequi) by the Commonwealth.
FEBRUARY 26, 2020
FAIRFAX GENERAL DISTRICT COURT (PRELIMINARY HEARING)
Grand Larceny and Unauthorized Use Of Vehicle dropped (nolle prosequi) by the Commonwealth.