Larceny, Shoplifting, and Receiving Stolen Goods

Under Virginia law, Larceny is defined as the wrongful or fraudulent taking of things of value, belonging to another, without that person or businesses consent, and with the intent to permanently deprive that person or business of the value of the items taken.

Larceny is divided into various subcategories, the most common of which are Grand Larceny and Petit Larceny. Whether you are charged with Grand Larceny or Petit Larceny depends on the value of the item(s) stolen, the manner in which the item(s) were taken, and the nature of the item(s) taken.

Petit Larceny/Misdemeanor

  • The theft of something worth $5.00 or less from a person directly, stealing less than $200.00 worth of goods from any location.
  • Maximum penalties for first offense misdemeanor larceny:
  • Class 1 misdemeanor
  • 12 months in jail
  • $2500.00 fine

Grand Larceny/Felony 

  • The theft of something worth $5.00 or more from a person directly, stealing at least $200.00 worth of goods, or stealing a gun (no matter the cost)
  • Maximum penalties for grand/felony larceny:
  • 20 years in prison
  • $2500.00 fine


Removing or concealing unpaid property from a retailor, or altering tags on the item(s) in an effort to pay a lower price for that item are all forms of shoplifting under Virginia law. The exact punishment depends upon the type of shoplifting you are charged with, the facts of your case, and your prior record.

If you are a first time offender with a good prior record, some Judges and Prosecutors will work with your defense attorney to dismiss your case after you meet certain conditions. Typically these conditions include:

  • Restitution payment
  • Maintain a clean record for a certain period of time
  • Perform community service for a certain number of hours
  • Attend an anti-shoplifting class

Why should I consult an attorney? Larceny, Shoplifting, and receiving Stolen Goods are all serious crimes, and in nearly all cases there is the potential for active jail time. A Grand Larceny or Petit Larceny conviction can make it impossible for you to hold a position of trust and accountability.

If you have been charged with Grand Larceny or Petit Larceny, Shoplifting or Receiving Stolen Goods, contact The Paracha Firm immediately for no-fee consultation.


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