Shoplifting Defense Attorney in Virginia Beach
Have you been charged with shoplifting?
Shoplifting can either be a misdemeanor or a felony charge in Virginia, based upon the value of the items that have allegedly been stolen. A misdemeanor shoplifting charges is not minor. The consequences can be very serious, impacting your ability to earn a living and permanently compromising your criminal record. In order to protect your rights and take action for your defense, talk with a Virginia Beach criminal defense lawyer from our firm as soon as possible.
Penalties for Shoplifting
You do not have to have exited a store with stolen goods to be charged with shoplifting. If you are caught with concealed merchandise on your person while in the store, it will be assumed you intended to steal it. If you alter merchandise or price tags, that action can also lead to a charge of shoplifting. Even just instructing another person on how to shoplift could result in charges being filed against you.
If the value of the merchandise or property at issue is less than $200, the charge is petty theft/larceny, a misdemeanor. If it's more than $200, the charge is grand larceny, a felony. The penalties range from up to 1 year in jail to 20 years in prison, with fines up to $2,500. If you have had a prior conviction for larceny, the penalties are likely to be enhanced – a longer prison term and bigger fines. With early intervention, it could be possible to avoid charges being filed at all. If you have already been arrested, there are various actions that could be taken to reduce the damage.
At our firm, Vaughan C. Jones, Attorney at Law, we are serious about helping our clients preserve their rights. Our goal is to either have the case dismissed or the charges reduced or to seek an acquittal at trial, or a lesser sentence, smaller fine and more lenient probation terms. There is no need to face this alone. We will stand up for your rights at every point of the process, and fight hard for any advantage. Our knowledgeable and experienced staff is here to help you all the way. Contact our firm without delay.