Ask the Lawyer Question: I have been charged with Petit Larceny for the second time in 6 years. Can I do jail time over this in Virginia?

Jail is a very common punishment for a second Petit Larceny (shoplifting) conviction. One so charged will want to hire a good lawyer to see if there is a way to win — or to help flesh out mitigating circumstances.

“Larceny” is stealing, theft, or shoplifting.  To convict, the prosecutor must prove (1) that the defendant took personal property belonging to another and carried it away; (2) that the taking was against the will and without the consent of the owner; and (3) that the taking was with the intent to steal.

If the value of the allegedly stolen property was worth $200.00 or more, or the item was a firearm, the crime is felony “Grand Larceny,” with a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and no mandatory minimum punishment.  Otherwise, the crime is “Petit Larceny,” a misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.00.