A skilled Fauquier County theft lawyer can assist in defending you, or a loved one, when charged with theft. It is imperative to hire an experienced attorney as soon as possible. This is because there is only an extremely small window of time from your arrest to when the state attorney’s office will make a decision on the criminal charges that will be filed against you. Or, if you need help with different criminal charges in Fauquier County, VA, please visit our Fauquier County criminal lawyer page.
Hiring a Skilled Fauquier County Theft Lawyer
Your Fauquier County theft lawyer can begin to negotiate as your legal representative to provide you the best opportunity for avoiding criminal charges. They can help protect your rights. This is important because the consequences of the theft can be far-reaching. The consequences could include jail time, probation or the ineligibility of expunging your criminal record. In addition, it could have a negative impact on future opportunities including employment, academic status, and access into the military.
According to the Code of Virginia (Section 18.2-103), theft is taking or concealing the possession of merchandise, transferring goods to a different container, or altering the price tag without authority. Anyone that willfully takes possession or conceals merchandise or goods in a retail establishment, defrauds the owner of the goods or merchandise or has possession without paying its full price, or marks another price on merchandise or goods can be charged with theft, or as it is called in Virginia, larceny.
Theft can also be depriving individuals the benefit or right of their owned property either permanently or temporarily. In addition, theft can also be assessed when an individual uses the property of another when not entitled to do so.
An experienced Fauquier County theft lawyer can defend you against numerous theft offenses that could include:
- Retail/shoplifting theft
- White-collar theft
- Grand theft
- Auto theft, felony theft
- Worthless checks
- Defrauding an innkeeper
- Gas drive-offs
- “Dine & Dash”
How an Attorney Can Help
An experienced Fauquier County theft attorney will work on your behalf to develop a strong defense for your case. In addition to avoiding jail time and probation, your skilled attorney can help find other options and alternatives in an effort to have your charges reduced or dismissed altogether. The attorney might be able to avoid a separate civil penalty that is brought on by the victim. Possible outcomes of your theft case might include:
- Paying restitution
- Required attendance for shoplifter’s awareness counseling
- Required attendance at a substance-abuse treatment center
- Being subjected to random drug testing
- The requirement to perform local community service
According to the Code of Virginia (Section 18.2-95) shoplifting is considered grand larceny when it involves merchandise valued at $200 or more. Any amount less than this is referred to as “petty theft” or petit larceny (Section 18.2-96). Regardless of the value of the goods, any individual charged with shoplifting in Fauquier County could be facing serious punishments.
For petit larceny, your misdemeanor charge can bring up to one year of jail time and a fine no greater than $2,500 if you are convicted. However, for grand larceny involving theft of $200 or greater, you could be facing a felony conviction with up to 20 years in prison.
Hiring a skilled Fauquier County theft attorney can aid in your defense against shoplifting charges. They might be able to establish reasonable doubt making it difficult for the prosecutor to prove your case. Among your possible defenses include:
- Misidentification – The skilled attorney might be able to establish that you are not the individual seeing concealing merchandise or changing the price. The actions of your attorney might make it difficult for the prosecutor to show that it was actually you doing the shoplifting.
- No Intent – A conviction of theft in Virginia requires actual intent on the part of the defendant to take the property. If, for example, you left the store without paying for an item you’d forgotten to put back on the shelf, your attorney might be able to show that you did not intend to steal anything.
- Actual Value – If you have been charged with felony shoplifting, your attorney might be able to have the charges reduced down to a misdemeanor, because they can show the actual “lower” value of the merchandise or goods involved.
Theft Lawyer in Fauquier County
Even if your attorney does not have the ability to provide a proper legal defense based on the evidence, there still may be a chance for a possible dismissal. If you have a good prior record, the prosecutor or judge in the case might dismiss the charges if you are willing to meet certain conditions. A Fauquier County theft lawyer is ready to help you go over all the options for your defense and determine the one that is likely to earn you the best possible outcome in your case. Give our offices a call today for a free consultation.