If you are charged with a Larceny or Theft Offense in Virginia, you need the representation of an attorney. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, a conviction can have a negative impact in both the short and long term. To schedule a free consultation to talk about your case, call our offices today.
In Virginia, theft of any item worth less than $200 is deemed a Petit Larceny. A defendant convicted of Petit Larceny faces a jail sentence of up to 12 months or a fine of up to $2500. Many defendants accused of these offenses confess wrongdoing to store security officers or the police before they ever have the chance to speak to an attorney. Others are wrongfully accused and need the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney to prove their innocence in Court. At Blanch & Hart, we have represented hundreds of people charged with Petit Larceny, and we can help you with your case.
One of the reasons to seek counsel in a Petit Larceny case is the desire to maintain a clean criminal record. All too often, defendants enter into first-offender Petit Larceny programs seeking a dismissal of their case without fully understanding what those programs do. In most Northern Virginia Courts, entering into a first-offender program requires the defendant to admit wrongdoing, which ensures that the defendant will have a permanent record of his arrest, regardless of whether he successfully completes the program. An experienced attorney can explain to you the difference between a conviction (which creates a permanent record of conviction), a dismissal with an acknowledgement of guilt (which creates a permanent record of your arrest), and a dismissal without an acknowledgement of guilt. Only the third option allows for the Expungement of your criminal record, which is necessary to truly erase any evidence of your arrest.
Petit Larceny convictions can also be dangerous for immigrants with Green Cards, Work Permits, or other forms of legal residence. A conviction for a crime involving lying, cheating, or stealing may result in the revocation of your legal status in this country, can prevent you from having that status renewed when the time comes, or can prevent you from becoming a citizen. If you are a non-citizen charged with a Petit Larceny offense, it is very important that you talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your ability to remain in this country.
Virginia Law deems the theft of any item or items worth $200 or more to be Grand Larceny, a felony. Grand Larceny is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $2500. Many convictions for Grand Larceny do not result in active jail sentences, but require 2-3 years of supervised probation, with the threat of several years of jail time hanging over the defendant if probation is not successfully completed.
The most important sanction that results from a Grand Larceny conviction, however, is not jail time or fines, but the fact of the felony conviction itself. Many people accused of Grand Larceny have never been convicted of a felony before, and some have no criminal record whatsoever. Being convicted of a felony can have disastrous repercussions for your future, especially for young people with their lives in front of them. Convicted felons lose their legal rights to vote or own firearms, but more importantly, a felony conviction can make it extremely difficult to find future employment. Felony convictions are permanent in Virginia, so they cannot be expunged and do not come off of your record with the passage of time. If you are charged with a first-offense Grand Larceny, hiring the right attorney can literally be a life-changing event. At Blanch & Hart, we have helped hundreds of clients get their Felony Grand Larceny charges reduced to Misdemeanor offenses or get them dismissed altogether. Call us today for an appointment about your Grand Larceny case.
Burglary once applied only to nighttime theft from dwellings, but it has been expanded to include any breaking and entering into a building with the intent to commit either theft, assault, or some felony. Burglary is considered more serious than simple larceny because of the element of entering a building without permission in order to accomplish the crime, and consequently Burglary typically carries a higher likelihood of incarceration. The serious nature of Burglary often leads prosecutors to resist defense efforts to reduce these charges, even where the defendant is a friend or family member, or where the value of the items stolen is minimal. If you are charged with Burglary, an experienced attorney is the first line of defense to ensure that you have the best chance to reduce your offense and to avoid incarceration.
Robbery is the taking of any item of value from another person, or in their presence, by violence, threat, or intimidation, with the intent to permanently deprive the other person of that item. Virginia is especially tough on Robbery offenses, which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison, even where only a small amount of money was taken, and even if the victim was not harmed. Robberies can be especially difficult cases because many Robbery cases depend on identification of the defendant by eyewitnesses or victims who get only a passing glance at a defendant’s face or some other identifying feature. And, cross-racial identification can be particularly unreliable, leading to wrongful convictions. Your attorney needs to be educated about the likelihood of misidentification and other defenses to Robbery.