Woodbridge Theft Lawyer
Theft constitutes a variety of offenses under Virginia law but the principal element present in every theft-related crime is the conversion or the attempted conversion of one person’s property to another without that person’s consent or, in some cases, knowledge. Property can be in the form of money, goods or services.
Theft charges in Woodbridge are prosecuted in Prince William County, and Prince William County is the harshest jurisdiction in all of Northern Virginia when it comes to prosecuting theft cases. If you are charged with a simple shoplifting charge, for example, and it is your first offense, prosecutors in Prince William County will still seek jail time, even for first offenders. For that reason, it is imperative that anyone who is charged with any theft crime in Virginia or in Prince William County seeks and retains the services of an experienced Woodbridge theft attorney. An experienced defense attorney will be able to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the arrest and mitigate the penalties as much as possible through the use of a strong defense.
Theft Offenses in Woodbridge
Specific theft crimes will have individual lists of elements that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt in order to sustain a conviction. The common element that is required in all theft crimes is the conversion of property belonging to another person without that person’s consent. Some examples of common theft charges that may warrant the attention of a theft attorney in Woodbridge include, but are not limited to:
- Credit card theft
- Credit card fraud
- Concealment of merchandise while within a store
Theft charges could range from petty larceny, which are often charges like shoplifting or any other theft that involves an amount of less than $200, to grand larceny which constitutes theft of more than $200, to concealment of property which is typically associated with shoplifting behavior where a person conceals merchandise without having paid for it while still in the store with the intent to steal it. There are often theft-related crimes involving credit cards such as credit card fraud or credit card theft. There are also theft-related crimes involving vehicles that warrant attention from a Woodridge theft lawyer.
Having a conviction for any theft-related crime constitutes a permanent mark on an individual’s criminal record, which makes it difficult to obtain employment in any position in which even a small amount of trust is required by the employer. Additionally, a person may face the possibility of losing an existing job, especially if that job requires a security clearance to sustain employment.
Working with a Theft Attorney
If a person is charged with theft and they contact a theft attorney in Woodbridge, the first thing they will do is discuss what happened from their perspective. The second thing an attorney will want to know is what their client thinks the government can prove. Often, in cases like this, the government will have a good amount of evidence known to the defendant and therefore, compiling both sides of the story early on will help an attorney to gain a better understanding of where the case stands and what, if any, defenses might be available.
If you have been charged with theft in Woodbridge, you should consider hiring an experienced Woodbridge theft lawyer because theft charges are taken seriously in Woodbridge. Upon any conviction for any theft-related charge in Woodbridge, you should expect the active jail time associated with that conviction. For that reason, hiring an attorney is imperative as you want to give yourself every available option to avoid a conviction that could result in jail.