Theft Crimes

Theft crimes run the gamut from misdemeanor shoplifting to embezzlement of thousands or even millions of dollars.  The value of the goods or money taken, as well as the way in which they were taken, determine whether the crime is a misdemeanor or a felony.  The potential punishments range from dismissal after completion of community service, to incarceration for 20 years or more, depending on the charge.  Theft crimes are considered crimes of moral turpitude, and a conviction for any theft crime can have long-lasting effects on your employability and credit, not to mention the possibility of incarceration.  Whether you were wrongfully accused, or caught red-handed, having a seasoned criminal defense attorney on your side gives you the best chance of a good outcome.

Petit Larceny

In Virginia, petit larceny is the taking of good or money valued at less than two hundred dollars.  It is punished as a class 1 misdemeanor, meaning that a conviction can bring up to a year in jail, and a fine of up to $2,500.

For those facing a first charge of petit larceny, a “first-offender” program is available.  Entering into the program requires pleading guilty, however.  On completion of community service and a shoplifting class, the charge will be dismissed, but the record of the charge cannot be expunged.  Before entering such a program, it is best to speak to an attorney.  Only they can tell you whether the program is right for you, and whether you have potential defenses.

Grand Larceny

Punishable by up to twenty years in jail, grand larceny is a felony that involves taking goods or money valued at two hundred dollars or more.  In addition to the value, the Commonwealth has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the goods or money were taken with the intent to permanently deprive.

Grand larceny cases may involve video tapes, paper trails, fingerprints or DNA evidence, or eye-witness testimony.  An experienced criminal defense attorney like those at Richmond Law Group may be able to challenge that evidence, and put on the best defense to suit the facts of your case.  It is important that you contact a lawyer as soon as you are charged.


The crime of embezzlement can be charged as either a misdemeanor if the value of the goods or money is less than two hundred dollars, or as a felony if the value is two hundred dollars or more.  The difference between embezzlement and larceny has to do with the defendant’s right to have or to use the property or money, usually as a result of his employment.  Embezzlement involves wrongfully taking or using the goods or money that was entrusted to the defendant for a specific purpose.  The distinction between larceny and embezzlement is subtle but important, and a skilled defense lawyer will know how to best use that distinction to defend you.

In addition to jail time and a conviction for a crime of moral turpitude, embezzlement cases often involve the payment of restitution to the victim.  Such a conviction can hurt your ability to get or maintain a job, making it that much more difficult to support yourself and a family, especially when the restitution may be in the thousands of dollars.  The attorneys at Richmond Law Group have handled embezzlement cases of all sizes.  Contact us today to discuss your case.

Robbery and Burglary

Both felonies, robbery and burglary are distinct from larceny because they both involve force or the threat of force.  Depending on the facts, either of these theft crimes may be punishable by up to a life sentence.  These types of cases often involve fingerprint or DNA evidence, which a lawyer will know how to challenge.  They may also involve eye-witness testimony, which a skilled lawyer may be able to combat.  Regardless of the facts, these types of theft crimes are serious charges.  Contact Richmond Law Group immediately to begin preparing your defense.

This list does not exhaust the types of theft crimes that the attorneys at Richmond Law Group handle.  If you are charged with a theft crime, contact us today.

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