Larceny is the crime of stealing someone else’s property without coercion. Most larceny crimes are misdemeanors, but depending on the value of the property stolen, some larceny crimes, classified as “grand” larceny, are felony offenses. The main distinction between robbery and larceny is that larceny crimes do not involve forcibly taking property from a victim.
For instance, a burglar must “break in” to a victim’s home to steal property. Burglary may involve trespassing on personal property, bodily harm to the victim, sexual assault, and other crimes. Larceny occurs when a person simply withholds or unlawfully takes another person’s property without force or physical harm to the victim.
Below, we’ll discuss the nature of larceny and examine the different types of theft that constitute a larceny charge.
Examples of Larceny
When a person commits the crime of larceny, they may be attempting to:
- Dispossess a victim their property, either temporarily or permanently
- Give the victim’s property to another individual without the victim’s consent
- Unlawfully take the victim’s property (but without force)
- Deprive the victim of their right to enjoy their property
- Switch ownership of the property to themselves
Not all types of larceny are the same, and depending on the value of the property that the defendant unlawfully takes, larceny could be a felony offense.
Types of Larceny
There are two main types of larceny in Virginia, petty larceny and grand larceny. Most instances of larceny are classified as petty larceny and are therefore misdemeanors under Virginia law. However, instances of larceny classified as grand larceny based on the worth of the items taken could be classified as a felony in Virginia.
- Petty larceny – Petty larceny occurs when the value of the items or goods stolen is less than $1,000 or less than $5 if taken directly from the person. To prove a petty larceny charge, the Commonwealth of Virginia must prove that a defendant took the item without the owner’s consent and with the intent to deprive the owner of their right to the items or goods.
- Grand larceny – Grand larceny occurs when the value of the items or goods stolen by the perpetrator exceeds $1,000 or more than $5 if taken directly from the victim. To prove a grand larceny charge, the Commonwealth must show that the perpetrator took the goods or items without the owner’s consent and to dispossess the owner of their right to the property.
Penalties for Larceny Crimes in Virginia
Petty larceny is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Petty larceny is punishable by up to 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine, or both.
Grand larceny is classified as a felony in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Grand larceny is punishable by a state prison sentence of at least one but not more than 20 years, or at the discretion of the jury or court trying the case, a maximum of 12 months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Were you charged with the crime of larceny in the Commonwealth of Virginia? If so, you need the Virginia Beach criminal defense attorneys at Invictus Law in your corner. Being charged with larceny, even if it was just petty larceny, can come with serious consequences. A conviction for petty larceny could land you in jail for up to a year, and a grand larceny charge comes with a possible 20-year prison sentence.
If you have been arrested and charged with larceny in Virginia, don’t wait to get the qualified legal help you deserve. Call our offices at (757) 317-5125 today.