Whether you have been arrested for petty theft or grand larceny, it is important to speak with an Alexandria larceny attorney right away. Depending on your situation, consulting with a defense lawyer immediately may result in charges never being filed. If you have already been charged, you need a skilled and experienced attorney who will work to prevent a conviction and the resulting criminal penalties.
Petty larceny, or petty theft, are offenses in which an individual shoplifts or steals property that does not belong to him/her which is valued at less than $200. Grand larceny is a more serious charge, and typically involves the theft of property valued at $200 or more. Regardless of the seriousness of the offense, it is to your benefit to consult with a qualified Alexandria larceny defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Petty theft is usually charged as a misdemeanor offense, and will leave the accused facing fines of up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail if convicted. Grand larceny is a much more serious offense, and is charged as a felony. If convicted, the maximum punishment is 20 years in prison. It is also important to note that you may be charged with grand larceny even if the value of the property/money stolen is only $5 or more, if the offense involved theft of property from a person, such as in a purse snatching or mugging.
If charged with petty theft, your Alexandria larceny attorney may discuss the possibility of negotiating a plea agreement with you. Often times, negotiating a plea agreement with prosecutors will allow a defendant to avoid jail time. Depending on the situation, you may be eligible for an alternative sentence which may include community service or paying restitution. Of course, if charged with grand larceny your defense lawyer will work to avoid a conviction by developing a solid, effective defense strategy.
It is also important to realize the impact of a conviction on your career and reputation; a conviction will leave you with a criminal record which could affect many areas of your life. For those with a professional license, it could mean the end of your career.
No matter what the circumstances of your case are, take the first step in your own defense by contacting a highly capable Alexandria VA larceny lawyer immediately. The sooner you do, the sooner work can begin to protect your freedom and help you avoid harsh criminal penalties.