Grand larceny is a type of theft and is a felony charge, as detailed in VA Code Section 18.2-95. If you’ve been charged with grand larceny in Virginia, you have been charged with either taking an item worth more than $5 from a person directly (e.g. pickpocketing) or taking an item worth more than $200 from a person indirectly (e.g. stealing from a neglected bag). If you have been charged with stealing a firearm, the Commonwealth of Virginia considers this to be grand larceny – regardless of the firearm’s value or whether you stole it directly or indirectly. All credit card theft offenses are charged as grand larcenies in Virginia regardless of the value. The use of force or threat of force in theft is a different offense. Click here to read more about robbery charges.
If you are charged with stealing multiple items during the offense, these items are valued collectively, not individually. That means that if you stole an iPhone in its case with earphones, the charges against you will total up the value of these items, but each credit card from a wallet may be totaled separately or considered multiple separate charges.
Since it’s a felony, grand larceny is not subject to a statute of limitations in Virginia. This means that the state can initiate legal proceedings against you at any time. If you are charged and convicted of grand larceny, then maximum penalty you could face is 20 years in prison. Consulting with an experienced grand larceny lawyer could assist you from receiving a maximum sentence, including a life sentence under the three strikes rule, when applicable.
Grand larceny with intent to sell
Grand larceny with the intent to resell merchandise carries a minimum prison penalty of two years. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, if you’ve stolen more than one identical item in a grand larceny, this is direct evidence that can be used against you to prove that you intended to sell or distribute the merchandise stolen.
Defense of grand larceny
To be convicted of grand larceny, the prosecution must prove the following:
That you stole an item of value that belonged to a person
That the item stolen was at least $200 (if stolen indirectly) or at least $5 (if stolen directly off a person)
That the property did not belong to you
That the owner did not consent to the taking
That you intended to steal the item and permanently deprive the owner of the item
The prosecution might cite concert of action to convict you of grand larceny. This means that if you were part of a group involved with stealing an item but did not actually take the item yourself, you may still be found guilty. If you partook in some activity to aid in a theft, whether providing transportation or acting as a lookout, the prosecution could claim that you were in concert of action.
Since grand larceny carries a 19-year difference in maximum prison term from petit larceny, it’s critical to select an experienced grand larceny attorney. He or she can construct the best defense for your situation or try to negotiate with the prosecution on your behalf. A few common defenses that could be used for grand larceny cases include:
- Intention. This defense could apply if you did not intend to keep the stolen items, even if you took them without permission. An example of this is a construction worker who takes and uses the equipment for other purposes.
- Consent. This defense could apply if you believed that you had the person’s consent for taking the item.
Facing grand larceny charges in Virginia?
If you’ve been charged with a crime related to grand larceny in Virginia, the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico can help evaluate the details of your case and your options. For an appointment at our Roanoke office, call us at (540) 343-9349.