According to reporting from WHSV-TV, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has signed House Bill 995 into law. The bill—an important part of the governor’s overall criminal justice reform agenda—will raise the threshold for a felony grand larceny charge from $500 to $1,000. The new law is set to take effect on July 1st, 2020.
The reforms will bring Virginia more in line with other states around the country. As noted by The Marshall Project, the Commonwealth has the lowest felony theft threshold in the United States—meaning defendants face harsh felony penalties for offenses that would be misdemeanors in most other jurisdictions. To be sure, 35 states have felony theft thresholds of $1,000 or higher.
An Overview of Virginia’s Theft Laws
Theft is defined as the taking of another person’s money or property without permission. A person who intends to “return” the property at a later date can still be charged with theft. All theft charges should be taken seriously. If you or your loved one was arrested for misdemeanor or felony theft, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Henrico, VA as soon as possible. For reference, Virginia law (Code of Virginia § 18.2-95), allows grand theft larceny to be punished by up to 20 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Fighting a Grand Larceny Charge in Henrico, VA
There are a number of different defenses available in theft cases. Of course, the proper defense strategy will always depend on the unique facts of the case. As a starting point, it is important to remember that the burden of proof is on the prosecution. Virginia prosecutors must be able to present evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the specific crime that was charged. Without sufficient evidence, the charges should be dropped. Other notable defenses in theft cases include:
- Mistaken identity;
- Lack of intent to commit a crime;
- A reasonable claim of right or actual ownership of the goods/property; and
- Permission/authorization of use.
How Our Virginia Theft Defense Lawyer Can Help
An accusation of theft can cause serious harm to your personal and professional reputation—not to mention end up with you facing the possibility of significant prison time. At Del Rio Law PLLC, we offer zealous advocacy designed to achieve the best possible results for our clients. If you or your loved one was arrested for petty theft or grand theft, you need a lawyer in your corner. Among other things, our Henrico, VA criminal defense attorney is prepared to:
- Conduct a comprehensive review of your case;
- Answer your questions and explain your options;
- Investigate the charges—securing relevant evidence; and
- Take actions to protect your rights and help you secure your future.
We provide personalized, attentive legal guidance to every client. Our Henrico, VA defense lawyer will always put in the time and resources needed to craft the right approach for your specific situation—whether that means working towards a plea agreement that protects your future or fighting aggressively to get false or unsubstantiated charges dropped.
Call Our Henrico, VA Criminal Defense Lawyer for Immediate Assistance
At Del Rio Law PLLC, our Virginia criminal defense attorney is a skilled, solutions-focused legal representative for clients. If you or your loved one was charged with felony grand larceny, we are here to help. To set up a free, strictly confidential phone consultation with an experienced defense lawyer, please contact us today. We represent clients in Henrico County and throughout the surrounding region.