Arlington Theft Lawyer

Theft or larceny offenses under Virginia law can range from shoplifting items worth less than $5.00 from a grocery store to committing auto theft. While some theft offenses are misdemeanors and others are felonies, all have harsh consequences that will give you a permanent criminal record. An Arlington theft lawyer may be able to help defend you from allegations of theft or larceny.

If you are facing accusations of a theft offense, you need the protections that only a criminal defense lawyer may be able to offer you. Intelligent legal counsel could enable you to raise the defenses that are relevant in your case and protect your constitutional rights throughout any criminal proceedings.

Theft or Larceny in Arlington

Virginia law labels theft as larceny and further divides into two separate categories based on the value of the stolen goods. Under Virginia Code § 18.2-96, petit larceny typically involves the theft of goods or property valued at less than $500 or the theft of property worth less than $5 directly from the person of another.

Alternatively, Va. Code § 18.2-95 states that grand larceny involves property worth $500 or more and property worth $5 or more when individuals take it directly from another person. No matter of the value of the gun, the theft of a firearm also constitutes grand larceny. Since the penalties for grand larceny can be extremely severe, consulting a theft attorney in Arlington when facing these charges may be wise.


Under Va. Code § 18.2-103, shoplifting is a separate larceny offense. Nonetheless, the penalties for shoplifting are similar to those for petit and grand larceny. As an experienced attorney could explain, the one difference is that shoplifting can result in civil liability in addition to criminal liability.

Va. Code § 8.01-44.4 provides for civil liability when individuals steal money or goods from businesses or their employers. More specifically, the business owner may seek a sum of $50 through a civil action, or twice the monetary value of the stolen property, whichever is greater.

It should be noted that if the store owners get the stolen property back and it is in a condition that they can resell it, the maximum civil liability for individuals would consequently be $350, along with reasonable court costs and attorney fees of no more than $150.

Conspiracy to Commit Larceny

Virginia law provides for other criminal offenses closely related to larceny. Under Va. Code § 18.2-23, conspiracy to commit larceny occurs when individuals conspire with one or more other people to commit larceny or to help others commit larceny in which the aggregate value of the goods is $500 or more.

A conviction for this felony offense could result in a prison sentence ranging from one to 20 years. Conspiracy to commit larceny is a separate felony offense from the underlying larceny or any other criminal offense, so it carries the potential for a separate punishment. A conviction for conspiracy to commit larceny charges can have harsh ramifications, which may make getting the advice of a theft attorney in Arlington crucial.

Possible Penalties for Larceny

For a petit larceny conviction, individuals may serve a jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $2,500. For a second offense, whether it is for petit or grand larceny, individuals will face a mandatory minimum 30-day jail sentence.

Grand larceny convictions can result in a prison sentence ranging from one to 20 years, Defendants should note that judges and juries may, in their discretion, reduce the sentence to less than 12 months, a fine of $2,500 or less, or both. A third larceny conviction, whether for petit or grand larceny, is also a Class 6 felony that could result in a prison sentence of one to five years.

Talk to an Arlington Theft Attorney

While shoplifting may seem like a minor charge, particularly if it qualifies as petit larceny, a conviction still will leave you with a permanent criminal record. Having a theft conviction show up on background checks by prospective employers and landlords could make it much more difficult to improve your life.

Allow an Arlington theft lawyer to defend you against any allegations of larceny that you may be facing. Larceny is inherently a crime of dishonesty, which can be highly damaging to your future. Having a legal advocate on your side to face any criminal proceedings may be highly beneficial to you.