Have a Criminal Law Matter? Call The Law Office of S.K. Johnson Now!
Shoplifting is treated very seriously in Virginia, with one of the lowest thresholds for a felony amount shoplifting at just $200. Merchants in Virginia also employ professional loss prevention officers and strictly prosecute offenders. In fact, most merchants are required to do so by corporate rules.
To prove a shoplifting charge is warranted, the prosecutor must prove a person, without authority, had the intent to convert goods or merchandise to his or her own without having paid the full purchase price thereof, or of defrauding the owner of the value of the goods or merchandise.
When the value of the merchandise is less than $200 it is a misdemeanor and, more than $200 is a felony.
Shoplifting also can include:
- Concealment of an item while still in premises
- Altering the price tag
- Aid or abet another person in the performance of the above acts.
Scenarios: Hiding an item in your bag, pocket or under clothing items. Giving an item to another person and helping them concealment. This could include handing an item to another person and not noticing they did not return it to the shelf. Switching the stickers from one item to another and purchasing the item with the new sticker.
IF the amount or value of the items at or less than $200.
If convicted, an individual could be punished by a maximum of 1 year in custody, a fine of up to $2,500. This in addition to a ban from the store, restitution paid to the merchant, and probation. You will also have been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude which generally must be disclosed on a job application. A conviction under this statute could have a major impact on employment prospects.
Amount more than $200
If convicted, an individual would have a felony conviction on their record. They would be convicted of grand larceny. Punishable by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than twenty years or, in the discretion of the court, be confined in jail for a period not exceeding twelve months or fined not more than $2,500, either or both.
see also Grand Larceny 18.2-95
3rd or subsequent offense for an amount of less $200. The penalty here is found under 18.2-104
If convicted you are required to serve 30 days in jail. You could serve up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500. This would also be a conviction of a Class 6 Felony. This offense would not be eligible for expungement. A conviction under this offense can impact employment options and have many other ancillary consequences.
Va Code § 18.2-103. Concealing or taking possession of merchandise; altering price tags; transferring goods from one container to another; counseling, etc., another in performance of such acts. Whoever, without authority, with the intention of converting goods or merchandise to his own or another's use without having paid the full purchase price thereof, or of defrauding the owner of the value of the goods or merchandise, (i) willfully conceals or takes possession of the goods or merchandise of any store or other mercantile establishment, or (ii) alters the price tag or other price marking on such goods or merchandise, or transfers the goods from one container to another, or (iii) counsels, assists, aids or abets another in the performance of any of the above acts, when the value of the goods or merchandise involved in the offense is less than $200, shall be guilty of petit larceny and, when the value of the goods or merchandise involved in the offense is $200 or more, shall be guilty of grand larceny. The willful concealment of goods or merchandise of any store or other mercantile establishments, while still on the premises thereof, shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to convert and defraud the owner thereof out of the value of the goods or merchandise.
Va. Code § 18.2-104. Punishment for conviction of misdemeanor larceny. When a person is convicted of an offense of larceny or any offense deemed to be or punished as larceny under any provision of the Code, and it is alleged in the warrant, indictment or information on which he is convicted, and admitted, or found by the jury or judge before whom he is tried, that he has been before convicted in the Commonwealth of Virginia or in another jurisdiction for any offense of larceny or any offense deemed or punishable as larceny, or of any substantially similar offense in any other jurisdiction, regardless of whether the prior convictions were misdemeanors, felonies or a combination thereof, he shall be confined in jail not less than thirty days nor more than twelve months; and for a third, or any subsequent offense, he shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.