Virginia Felony Theft Lawyer
Theft of any level in Virginia is taken seriously. The one thing that elevates theft charges in Virginia to a felony level is the value of the item allegedly stolen. When a person is charged with stealing something that has a value greater than $500, it is automatically a felony in Virginia. A Virginia theft lawyer is well-equipped with the knowledge surrounding felony thefts. They can help with legal counseling, terminology, case specifications, and potential mitigation option for charges relating to felony thefts. Contact a skilled and experienced attorney to obtain more information.
Elements of a Felony Theft
The elements of a felony theft are the unlawful takings of an item that is valued at more than $500 with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of that item. The thing that is taken can include services, cash, merchandise, or something else of value. Anything taken unlawfully without the consent of the owner, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of that thing, is a felony theft as long as the item is valued at more than $500.
How Felony Theft Differs From Misdemeanor Theft in Virginia
The only difference between felony theft and misdemeanor theft is the value of the item taken. When the value of the item taken is more than $500, it is a felony. It is a misdemeanor when the item is $500 or less.
Penalties for Felony Theft
A Class 1 misdemeanor conviction is punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $25,000 fine. When a person is convicted of felony theft, the prison time allowable under the statute is one to 20 years.
There are ways a misdemeanor theft charge can become aggravated to a felonious degree. When a person has two prior theft convictions already on their criminal history and they are charged with committing a third theft, the government can charge the person with a felony theft.
First Steps a Virginia Theft Lawyer Would Take
The first step a felony theft lawyer takes when they receive a new case is talking to the person to determine what they believe took place. The lawyer then tries to understand the government’s version of what events had transpired. When a Virginia felony theft lawyer has those two sets of facts, they determine what, if any, evidence supports the person’s position and prepares for trial.
An experienced Virginia theft lawyer knows that there are ways to mitigate a case. When the government can prove theft beyond a reasonable doubt and the item is more than $500, there are ways to mitigate the case so the government might be willing to reduce the charge from a felony to a misdemeanor. Trying to avoiding a felony would be the ultimate priority for a Virginia theft lawyer, particularly for someone with no previous criminal history. Hiring an attorney who is experienced in Virginia theft cases can help a person in the short-term and in the long-term. Consequences of punitive action could be severe with fines and sentences, so call a Virginia theft lawyer today.