In Virginia, larceny is more or less like theft. It is the unlawful taking away of another person’s property without their consent and with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of their rightfully owned property.
In Virginia, there are two classes of larceny charges, classified according to the value of the stolen property.
Grand larceny vs. petit larceny: The differences
If you steal money or other things valued at less than $5 directly from someone or any property worth less than $1000, you could face petit larceny charges. However, if the value of money or valuables directly stolen directly from someone exceeds the $5 mark or the property stolen is worth more than $1000, that amounts to grand larceny. Theft of a firearm, regardless of its value, is also a grand larceny offense.
Petit larceny is a misdemeanor in Virginia, and a conviction could see you get 12 months in jail and a $2500 fine. On the other hand, grand larceny is a serious offense. It is considered a felony in Virginia, punishable by up to a 20-year jail sentence.
Possible defenses of larceny charges
There are various strategies that can be useful to your defense if you have been charged with larceny, depending on the circumstances of your case.
For instance, if you can show that you had an honest belief that the property belongs to you or the owner gave their consent, it can be a valid defense. Additionally, the police may have violated your rights in the lead-up to the trial, which could affect the conclusion of your case.
There is a lot at stake with larceny charges, especially for repeat offenders. Therefore, you need legal help to carefully plan your defense and, at best, avoid a conviction.