Woodbridge Theft Penalties
If a person is charged with theft and ultimately convicted, they can expect the possibility of jail time or a fine. The nature of the crime charged and the amount of money taken often will dictate the degree to which the person is punished. However, in every theft case in Woodbridge and in Prince William County, the consequences will be severe. A Woodbridge theft attorney can be your advocate in building a defense or mitigating the penalties of a theft charge.
Misdemeanor Versus Felony Theft Charges
A misdemeanor theft charge in Woodbridge carries the possible penalty of up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. Most misdemeanor theft charges do not result in a year in jail without an extraordinary set of circumstances. Even if it is their first offense, some jail time is very often associated with misdemeanor theft charges in Woodbridge.
There are a great number of felony theft charges in Woodbridge, but most theft charges carry a possible penalty of one to 20 years in prison if convicted. As a general rule, the highest penalty available under the law for theft-related crimes is 20 years in prison. There are sometimes exceptions depending upon the nature of the charges.
If a person has two prior theft-related convictions, then any theft, whether above or below $200, can and will be charged as a felony in Virginia. If a person has two prior misdemeanor theft charges and they steal a pack of gum from a grocery store, the authorities could very well charge that person with a felony even though the amount that was taken is under $5.00.
A Theft Attorney Can Help
Woodbridge does not offer probation or reduced sentence options when facing theft charges. A lawyer’s role in a theft charge is to do whatever he or she can do to fight the nature of the charges. The lawyer will also provide mitigating evidence on behalf of his client to reduce the impact if a conviction were to follow.
A lawyer must wear a number of different hats when preparing a theft case for court. The first and most important is to determine whether or not the allegations against the client can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt and if not, prepare to defend vigorously at trial.
However, there are other cases where it appears clear that the government will be able to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. In those circumstances, the lawyer’s role shifts to one of mitigation of the Woodbridge theft penalties, meaning a lawyer will attempt to do whatever he or she can in order to soften the client’s landing upon an ultimately likely conviction.
In any circumstance, it is important to have a theft lawyer by your side due to the potential for strict theft penalties in Woodbridge. If you are or may be facing theft charges, contact a Virginia theft lawyer now.