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Virginia Theft Laws
Virginia Theft Laws

 

Virginia Shoplifting Laws

Shoplifting is defined as a larceny in Virginia. The value of the merchandise will determine if your shoplifting charge is going to be charged as a petit (petty) larceny or grand larceny in Virginia .

If the value of the good stolen is valued at $200 or more, then the person accused of shoplifting is facing a grand larceny charge in Virginia.

If the value of the good stolen is valued less than $200, then the person accused of shoplifting is facing a petit (petty) larceny charge in Virginia.

Shoplifting cases in Virginia are frequently actually charged under the Virginia concealment statute. The concealment statute makes it a larceny to conceal merchandise or alter the price tag of merchandise, in order to take the merchandise.

18.2-95 . Grand larceny defined; how punished.

Any person who (i) commits larceny from the person of another of money or other thing of value of $5 or more, (ii) commits simple larceny not from the person of another of goods and chattels of the value of $200 or more, or (iii) commits simple larceny not from the person of another of any firearm, regardless of the firearm's value, shall be guilty of grand larceny, punishable by imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than twenty years or, in the discretion of the jury or court trying the case without a jury, be confined in jail for a period not exceeding twelve months or fined not more than $2,500, either or both.

§ 18.2-96 . Petit larceny defined; how punished.

Any person who:

1. Commits larceny from the person of another of money or other thing of value of less than $5, or

2. Commits simple larceny not from the person of another of goods and chattels of the value of less than $200, except as provided in subdivision (iii) of § 18.2-95 , shall be deemed guilty of petit larceny, which shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

§ 18.2-98 . Larceny of bank notes, checks, etc., or any book of accounts.

If any person steal any bank note, check, or other writing or paper of value, whether the same represents money and passes as currency, or otherwise, or any book of accounts, for or concerning money or goods due or to be delivered, he shall be deemed guilty of larceny thereof, and receive the same punishment, according to the value of the thing stolen, prescribed for the punishment of the larceny of goods and chattels. The provisions of this section shall be construed to embrace all bank notes and papers of value representing money and passing as currency, whether the same be the issue of this Commonwealth or any other state, or of the United States, or of any corporation, and shall include all other papers of value, of whatever description. In a prosecution under this section, the money due on or secured by the writing, paper or book, and remaining unsatisfied, or which in any event might be collected thereon, or the value of the property or money affected thereby, shall be deemed to be the value of the article stolen.

§ 18.2-99 . Larceny of things fixed to the freehold.

Things which savor of the realty, and are at the time they are taken part of the freehold, whether they be of the substance or produce thereof, or affixed thereto, shall be deemed goods and chattels of which larceny may be committed, although there be no interval between the severing and taking away.

§ 18.2-102.1 . Removal of shopping cart from store premises.

(1) The term "shopping cart" when used in this section means those push carts of the type or types which are commonly provided by grocery stores, drugstores, or other merchant stores or markets for the use of the public in transporting commodities in stores and markets from the store to a place outside the store.

(2) It shall be unlawful for any person to remove a shopping cart from the premises, of the owner of such shopping cart without the consent, of the owner or of his agent, servant, or employee given at the time of such removal. For the purpose of this section, the premises shall include all the parking area set aside by the owner, or on behalf of the owner, for the parking of cars for the convenience of the patrons of the owner.

(3) Any person convicted of a violation under subsection (2) shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

§ 18.2-103 . Concealing or taking possession of merchandise; altering price tags; transferring goods from one container to another; counseling, etc., another in performance of such acts.

Whoever, without authority, with the intention of converting goods or merchandise to his own or another's use without having paid the full purchase price thereof, or of defrauding the owner of the value of the goods or merchandise, (i) willfully conceals or takes possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or other mercantile establishment, or (ii) alters the price tag or other price marking on such goods or merchandise, or transfers the goods from one container to another, or (iii) counsels, assists, aids or abets another in the performance of any of the above acts, when the value of the goods or merchandise involved in the offense is less than $200, shall be guilty of petit larceny and, when the value of the goods or merchandise involved in the offense is $200 or more, shall be guilty of grand larceny. The willful concealment of goods or merchandise of any store or other mercantile establishment, while still on the premises thereof, shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to convert and defraud the owner thereof out of the value of the goods or merchandise.

§ 18.2-104 . Punishment for conviction of misdemeanor larceny.

When a person is convicted of an offense of larceny or any offense deemed to be or punished as larceny under any provision of the Code, and it is alleged in the warrant, indictment or information on which he is convicted, and admitted, or found by the jury or judge before whom he is tried, that he has been before convicted in the Commonwealth of Virginia or in another jurisdiction for any offense of larceny or any offense deemed or punishable as larceny, or of any substantially similar offense in any other jurisdiction, regardless of whether the prior convictions were misdemeanors, felonies or a combination thereof, he shall be confined in jail not less than thirty days nor more than twelve months; and for a third, or any subsequent offense, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

§ 18.2-105.1 . Detention of suspected shoplifter.

A merchant, agent or employee of the merchant, who has probable cause to believe that a person has shoplifted in violation of § 18.2-95 or § 18.2-96 or § 18.2-103 , on the premises of the merchant, may detain such person for a period not to exceed one hour pending arrival of a law-enforcement officer.

§ 18.2-105.2 . Manufacture, sale, etc., of devices to shield against electronic detection of shoplifting prohibited; penalty.

It shall be unlawful to manufacture, sell, offer for sale, distribute or possess any specially coated or laminated bag or other device primarily designed and intended to shield shoplifted merchandise from detection by an anti-theft electronic alarm sensor, with the intention that the same be used to aid in the shoplifting of merchandise. A violation of this section shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

§ 18.2-108 . Receiving, etc., stolen goods.

If any person buy or receive from another person, or aid in concealing, any stolen goods or other thing, knowing the same to have been stolen, he shall be deemed guilty of larceny thereof, and may be proceeded against, although the principal offender be not convicted.

§ 18.2-108.01 . Larceny with intent to sell or distribute; sale of stolen property; penalty.

A. Any person who commits larceny of property with a value of $200 or more with the intent to sell or distribute such property is guilty of a felony punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than two years nor more than 20 years. The larceny of more than one item of the same product is prima facie evidence of intent to sell or intent to distribute for sale.

B. Any person who sells, attempts to sell or possesses with intent to sell or distribute any stolen property with an aggregate value of $200 or more where he knew or should have known that the property was stolen is guilty of a Class 5 felony.

C. A violation of this section constitutes a separate and distinct offense.

§ 18.2-152.6 . Theft of computer services; penalties.

Any person who willfully obtains computer services without authority is guilty of the crime of theft of computer services, which shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. If the theft of computer services is valued at $2,500 or more, he is guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Shoplifting Penalties

If you are charged with shoplifting in Virginia, the penalties are very serious and the punishments imposed by the court can be very harsh .

The precise penalty you will face in court depends upon the type of Virginia shoplifting charge you are charged with, the facts of your case, and your prior record.

Petty larceny
Misdemeanor
Up to 1 year in jail
Up to a $2,500 fine

Grand larceny:
Felony
Up to 20 years in jail

FIRST TIME OFFENDER DISMISSAL IT IS A MYTH

Some Virginia lawyers will frequently tell their clients that if you are charged with a petty shoplifting charge and you have a clean record, you may be able to get your shoplifting charge dismissed under the first time offender program some jurisdictions have.

THIS IS A MYTH Even though you can have your Virginia shoplifting charge dismissed, what you are not told is that it can still come back to haunt you. Why? Because, even if the shoplifting charge is dismissed, your criminal record reflects that you received a first time offender treatment because you have to enter a plea of guilty to get this treatment.

 

 

take a theft class * take a shoplifting class * take a theft class * take a petit theft class * take a theft class * a shoplifting course

 

 

 


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