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Petty and Grand Larceny

Petty larceny is the crime of theft of another's property or money under a statutorily defined value, in which the value is below the grand larceny limit. Some states divide larceny into the categories of felony and misdemeanor, rather than grand and petit.

Theft crimes in Virginia fall under the category of “larceny,” which generally means the unauthorized taking of money or property without the owner’s permission.

In Virginia you may be charged with petit (or petty) larceny if you do one of the following things:

  • Take property directly from another’s person that is worth less than $5.00;
  • Take property or services (not from another’s person) worth less than $200.00;
  • Shoplift merchandise from a commercial establishment worth less than $200.

Petit larceny is generally charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor, meaning you could face up to a year in jail and a fine up to $2,500.

You may be charged with Grand larceny if you do one of the following:

  • Take property directly from another’s person that is worth $5.00 or more;
  • Take property or services (not from another’s person) worth $200.00;
  • Shoplift merchandise from a commercial establishment worth $200 or more; or taking a firearm of any value.

In most cases, grand larceny is charged as a felony and the degree of felony can depend on the value of the property stolen. Sentences for felony charges may range from one to 20 years in prison.

Crimes of theft in any state must be taken very seriously. If convicted, you could seriously jeopardize your ability to obtain housing, employment, loans and other living necessities in the future. With the help of a qualified, experienced theft lawyer, you’ll have the best possible chance of receiving the most favorable potential outcome in court. Our defense attorney will examine every aspect of your case in order to build a strong defense, one that protects your constitutional rights and aims for the reduction of your charges or even the total dismissal of your case.