Every state defines theft and its penalties in different ways, and the Commonwealth of Virginia is no exception. At The Law Office of Joseph W. Thelin, PLLC, we often provide advice and assistance to people accused of larceny.

Here is an overview of what the Code of Virginia says about grand and petit larceny.

Grand larceny

There are three ways you could be guilty of grand larceny:

  • Stealing money or property worth $5 or more from the person of an individual
  • Stealing money or property worth $500 not from the person
  • Stealing a firearm of any value

The penalties could include a prison sentence of at least one but no more than 20 years in a state correctional facility. However, a court or jury may impose a jail sentence of up to 12 months and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

Petit larceny

If you take money or property valued at less than $5 from the body of a person or steal money or property of less than $500 that is not on the body of a person, you may be found guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

A misdemeanor larceny conviction that follows any other larceny conviction can result in a jail sentence of at least 30 days but no more than 12 months.

Shoplifting

Intending to take merchandise valued at less than $500, including concealing it, altering the price tag or taking it from the store, is considered petit larceny, while the same actions involving merchandise valued at $500 or more may result in a grand larceny conviction.

More information about criminal defense strategies is available on our webpage.