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What is Petty Larceny (Petit Larceny)?

Any larceny that is not grand larceny is petit larceny. Petit larceny (or petty larceny) is a misdemeanor and is defined under Va. Code 18.2-96. Va. Code 18.2-96 states:

“Any person who: 1. Commits larceny from the person of another of money or other thing of value of less than $5, or 2. Commits simple larceny not from the person of another of goods and chattels of the value of less than $200, except as provided in subdivision (iii) of § 18.2-95, shall be deemed guilty of petit larceny, which shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.”

Stealing property worth less than $5, when that property is in a person’s possession or custody is petit larceny. Stealing any property worth less than $200 is also petit larceny.

If the prosecution cannot prove the value of an item stolen, the court may still find the defendant guilty of petite larceny.

Petty larceny is a class 1 misdemeanor. This means that the maximum penalty for petite larceny is up to 12 months in jail and $2,500 in fines. However, just because those are the maximum penalties does not mean that you will be sentenced to 12 months in jail.

An experienced criminal defense attorney should be able to give you a relatively accurate prediction of the likely outcome of your case after they have had a chance to discuss the facts of your case.

Conviction for any form of petit larceny can have serious effects on a person’s life. When an adult is convicted that conviction stays on their permanent criminal record forever. There are no exponents for petit larceny convictions in Virginia.

Conviction for petite larceny can effect job applications, security clearance, applications to graduate school, professional licensing and can result in deportation.

Petit Larceny 2nd Offense.

If a Defendant has a prior conviction for any type of larceny in Virginia or another state, then the Defendant may be charged with Petit Larceny 2nd Offense.

The punishments for petit larceny 2nd offense are found in Va. Code 18.2-104. These punishments include a minimum jail sentence of 30 days and a maximum of 12 months.

If you are charged with petit larceny 2nd offense the prosecution must prove that you were in fact convicted of a prior larceny offense and that the conviction met certain criteria.

If your prior larceny charge was from another state, the prosecution may have trouble getting official copies of the documents proving your conviction. Proof of a prior conviction has to be submitted to the court in a very specific formatting otherwise it cannot be used as a prior conviction.

Petit Larceny 3rd Offense

Petit larceny 3rd offense is a class 6 felony. This means that a person can receive up to 5 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.

A 3rd offense petit larceny is a felony, so anyone convicted of petit larceny 3rd offense will lose certain civil rights such as voting and gun ownership.

Nichols & Green PLLC Defense Petit Larceny Cases in Northern Virginia

If you are in Northern Virginia and have been charged with petit larceny (petty larceny) call Nichols & Green PLLC for a free and confidential consultation at (703) 383-9222. Mr. Nichols and Mr. Green have defended hundreds of criminal cases in Northern Virginia and are the authors of Defending Virginia Property Crimes. During your consultation these criminal defense lawyers will be happy to share their knowledge and experience with you.

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