Shoplifting is defined as a criminal action in which stealing of goods from a shop takes place while pretending to be a customer. The Petersburg Virginia shoplifting laws deal with the unnoticed theft of goods from an open retail establishment. The crime is committed by either concealing the merchandise and leave the shop without paying or by manipulating the packaging of an item to pay less amount than the true price. The penalties that are charged on the accused depend on the values of theft goods. The severity of the charges increases if any firearm, explosives, or incendiary devices are shoplifted. An individual can be charged with a low-level infraction, to a misdemeanor or even felony if he or she violates the Petersburg Virginia shoplifting laws.
Penalties and Sentencing:
There is two types of shoplifting in the state of Virginia, which includes Grand theft and petty theft. Petty theft is defined as, stealing good whose value is not more than $950 while grand theft is constituted when the value of the property stolen is over $950. Grand theft is charged with a misdemeanor. The possible sentences for grand theft include one year in county jail. This period of imprisonment is increased and charged with a felony if the crime involves theft of a firearm. The felony punishable in such circumstances includes three years in state prison according to Petersburg Virginia shoplifting laws. While petty theft is also charged with a misdemeanor and the punishments ranges by up to 6 months in county jail with fine of up to $1,000. If the value of the property stolen is $50 or less, then infraction is charged only by a fine of up to $250.
Defenses for the accused:
Being charge with any type of criminal activity can be nerve-racking for the accused. The offender lives one of the most depressing moments of their life in such situations. These charges can be challenged in the court by providing sufficient evidence. A person who is charged with shoplifting can claim that the crime committed was just because of mistake of fact and there was a lack of intention. The age and mental incapacity can also effect the penalties that are charged to the accused. Duress, justification or necessity and the consent of the owner are also included in the defense tool that can be used by the defender as stated in the Petersburg Virginia shoplifting laws. Hiring an experienced and specialized defense attorney can be the possible option present for the individuals charged with any type of crime. These defense lawyers can strategically plan a defense process for their clients. They help to reduce or even dismiss the charges of the user. Furthermore, they explore the plea bargain options available for their client. They handle all the mind-boggling situations that can be appeared during the trial. There are several legal firms that recruit such shoplifting defense lawyers. Through these legal organizations, an individual can easily get into access with experienced lawyers. They collaborate with the law enforcement agencies to ensure that the Petersburg Virginia shoplifting laws are practiced by every individual including their clients.