Shoplifting is a serious crime that carries significant penalties. Too often, adults and juveniles mistakenly think shoplifting is a petty crime that doesn’t go to court, or if so is treated with a slap on the wrist.
Not true. Prosecutors in Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads, Chesapeake, Norfolk and beyond take shoplifting crimes very seriously and these cases do go to court and a guilty verdict can have harsh penalties. Even a misdemeanor larceny of money or items worth less than $5.00 can result in 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine!
The difference between a misdemeanor and felony charge is in the amount of jail time. Felonies are punishable by over a year in jail while misdemeanors are limited to less than a year. Whether you will be charged with a misdemeanor or felony shoplifting offense will depend on the value of the stolen goods. Shoplifted items worth under $200 is considered a misdemeanor while anything higher than $200 will be considered a felony.
If you or a loved one faces a third misdemeanor larceny offense, the charge could be upgraded to a felony, which is accompanied by a minimum 30-day jail sentence. You need an experienced Virginia Beach criminal defense attorney to defend you against shoplifting charges. Whether you are an adult, or the parent of a juvenile arrested for shoplifting, don’t take on the court system on your own or with a general practice attorney.
As a former Virginia Beach police officer, criminal defense attorney Jerrell R. Johnson is familiar with how shoplifting crimes are investigated and taken to trial. He knows the process, what prosecutors look for, and how to structure the best possible legal defense strategy.
Criminal cases deserve aggressive criminal defense attorney representation to have the best chance at a positive outcome. Also, the more time that goes by, the longer the prosecutors have to prepare, so don’t wait — contact JRLaw today for a free, no obligation conversation about your shoplifting case.
The call is free. Call today: (757) 447-0080.