Richmond Grand Larceny Defense Attorney
Property crimes in Richmond, Virginia – especially large-scale thefts like grand larceny – can lead to substantial jail time if you’re found guilty. In addition to jail time, a conviction for grand larceny could lead to additional penalties like hefty fines, forfeiting some of your personal assets, losing your current job, difficulties finding future employment, and more.
You need to call a Richmond criminal defense lawyer right away if you’re arrested and accused of grand larceny. Attorney Samantha Upton of Upton Law, PLLC, helps people in Richmond navigate the criminal justice system and prides herself on providing straightforward, honest legal counsel.
As a lawyer who focuses solely on criminal defense and traffic cases, Samantha Upton has the knowledge and experience you’re looking for if you’ve been charged with grand larceny in Richmond. Your initial consultation is free, so contact Samantha today to learn more.
Why Do You Need a Grand Larceny Defense Lawyer?
Being charged with grand larceny in Virginia is a major offense. You need to contact a criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible if you’ve been arrested. Without help from a grand larceny defense lawyer, you could easily say or do something that seriously damages your case, even if you didn’t mean to or you’re just trying to cooperate with law enforcement officials.
A mistake after your arrest could lead to you spending several years or more in jail, paying heavy fines, and other serious penalties. By hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney, your chances of making a significant mistake go down while your odds of avoiding the worst possible penalties could increase dramatically.
How Upton Law, PLLC Can Help If You’re Charged with Grand Larceny
Here’s how Upton Law, PLLC can help if you’re facing charges of grand larceny in Richmond:
- Explaining the charges against you and the process going forward – The criminal justice system is complicated, and subtle details can seriously impact your case. For example, the penalties for petit larceny are usually far less severe than the penalties for grand larceny. Most people who aren’t lawyers aren’t aware of these differences, however, and that’s fine. It’s the job of your criminal defense lawyer to fully explain the charges you’re facing, the potential penalties involved, and what the next steps in your case will be.
- Protecting your rights – If you’re charged with a crime in Virginia, you have certain rights under the U.S. Constitution and state law. These rights include the right to remain silent, protection from unreasonable searches and seizures, and protection from certain abusive or unconstitutional law enforcement practices. Unfortunately, many police and prosecutors take advantage of defendants who may not know the full extent of these rights. Not only are these acts illegal, they often place defendants at a significant disadvantage. A criminal defense attorney will know what your rights are and will make sure you’re treated fairly as your case moves forward.
- Serving as an intermediary between you and law enforcement – Being interrogated by a police officer or prosecutor is an intimidating and frightening experience. It’s also vital to watch what you say to a police officer or prosecutor, as anything you say could be used against you. A lawyer can protect you from saying anything potentially damaging to your case when interacting with the police or prosecutors. Your attorney can also negotiate a plea deal on your behalf that may spare you the worst possible penalties for whatever crimes you’re facing.
Types of Theft Charges in Richmond
In Virginia, separate laws cover the various crimes that might be considered theft, including burglary, robbery, and larceny.
Broadly speaking, larceny is the crime of stealing someone else’s property without them knowing. Virginia law defines two different types of larceny:
Petit larceny (sometimes referred to as “petty larceny”) is the lesser type of larceny under Virginia law. According to Section 18.2-96 of the Code of Virginia, petit larceny is the crime of stealing less than $1,000 from a person, business, or organization. You can also be charged with petit larceny for stealing an item worth less than $5 directly off someone’s person. Petit larceny is a Class 1 misdemeanor unless you have prior larceny convictions, and potential penalties include up to one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines.
Grand larceny is the more serious type of larceny under Virginia law. According to Section 18.2-95 of the Code of Virginia, grand larceny is the crime of stealing $1,000 or more from a person, business, or organization. You can also be charged with grand larceny for stealing anything worth $5 or more directly off someone’s person. Finally, stealing any firearm from someone qualifies as grand larceny, regardless of how much the firearm is worth. Grand larceny is a felony in Virginia, and the potential penalties include between one and 20 years in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. In some cases, the courts can decide to impose a sentence of less than one year, but this is solely at the judge’s discretion.
Potential Defenses to Grand Larceny Charges
There are several strong potential defenses if you’re charged with grand larceny in Virginia, including:
- Mistaken identity – Police sometimes make mistakes and charge the wrong person with a crime. If you can show you did not commit or could not have committed the crime, you could have the charges against you dropped.
- You owned or believed you owned the stolen property – You can’t steal something you already own, so if you took something that rightfully belonged to you, it isn’t theft. Similarly, being charged with grand larceny requires police to prove you knowingly intended to steal something you knew wasn’t yours. If you had valid reasons to believe the property was yours, you may be able to have the charges against you dismissed.
- The owner of the property gave you permission to use it – If you borrowed or were given someone else’s property, you have legal possession of it and cannot be charged with a crime.
- Illegal searches – Police have to follow certain rules when it comes to obtaining evidence in criminal investigations. If the evidence against you was obtained unlawfully, your lawyer may be able to have that evidence dismissed, which may force prosecutors to drop their case.
Contact Upton Law, PLLC, for a Free Legal Consultation
With potential penalties including up to 20 years in jail, being charged with grand larceny in Richmond is a serious matter. An experienced grand larceny defense lawyer can protect your rights as your case progresses and work to help you avoid the worst possible outcomes.