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Four Different Types of Larceny Crimes in Virginia

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Larceny is another word for theft. From a legal standpoint, larceny refers to the unlawful taking of another person’s property, without any intention to return the property. Though the definition of and penalties for larceny crimes in Virginia fluctuates based on a number of circumstances, such as the type or value of the stolen goods.  The following sections will provide an overview of four different types of larceny crimes in Virginia.

  1. Petit Larceny

Code of Virginia 18.2-96 establishes the definition of and penalties for petit larceny. Essentially, petit larceny involves the theft of low-value money or goods.

  • Theft from the owner’s person (e.g. pickpocketing) of less than $5 qualifies as petit larceny; and
  • All other theft of less than $200 qualifies as petit larceny.

Petit larceny is generally a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by 12 months in jail and $2,500 in fines.

  1. Grand Larceny

Code of Virginia 18.2-95 establishes the definition of and penalties for grand larceny. In essential terms, grand larceny mirrors petit larceny. Though grand larceny addresses high-value items and even firearms. Grand larceny in Virginia includes:

  • Theft from the owner’s person (e.g. pickpocketing) of $5 or more;
  • Other theft of $200 or more in money or goods; and
  • Theft of a firearm not from owner’s person.

Grand larceny is generally a felony, punishable by one to 20 years in prison. Though in certain cases, the court can reduce the penalties to 12 months in jail and $2,500 in fines.

  1. Larceny of Certain Animals and Poultry

Code of Virginia 18.2-97 establishes the definition of and penalties for the larceny of certain animals and poultry. The law in Virginia divides animal theft into two different categories.

First, it is a Class 5 felony to steal a dog, horse, pony, mule, cow, steer, bull, or calf of any value. The potential penalties include one to 10 years in prison and $2,500 in fines.

Second, it is a Class 6 felony to steal poultry, sheep, lamb, swine, or goat worth less than $200. The potential penalties include one to five years in prison and $2,500 in fines.

  1. Larceny of Financial Instruments

Code of Virginia 18.2-98 establishes the definition of and penalties for the larceny of financial instruments, including but not limited to:

  • Bank notes;
  • Checks;
  • Other writings or papers of value;
  • Books of accounts;
  • Monies due or to be delivered; and
  • Goods due or to be delivered.

The penalties for larceny of financial instruments mirror petit and grand larceny. In other words, larceny of financial instruments worth $200 or more qualifies as grand larceny. Whereas larceny of financial instruments worth less than $200 qualifies as petit larceny.

Let Us Help You Today

If you are facing criminal charges for larceny in Virginia, it is highly advisable to seek counsel from an adept criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP, servicing Leesburg, Winchester, Fairfax, and Manassas, have demonstrated experience fighting larceny charges in Virginia. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

Resource:

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter5/section18.2-96/

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