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How are second offense larceny...

How are second offense larceny (theft) cases determined in Virginia?

Question:  I was charged with theft. Is this my second offense?  I’ve been charged with theft and have a preliminary hearing next month. I also had a theft charge last year, but had it reduced to trespassing w/ guilty plea. Will this be viewed as my first or second theft offense?

Answer:

If one’s prior larceny charge is dismissed or amended to a different crime, a subsequent larceny charge can only be charged as a first offense. Sentencing Guidelines will, similarly, not score the subsequent charge as larceny. (It will however score the amended prior conviction). Of course, a prosecutor will be able to see that a prior larceny charge was amended to Trespassing, assume that it was an unsuccessful effort of leniency, and decline to be as understanding the second time.