Shoplifting VA Code §18.2-103

shoplifting va code

In Virginia, shoplifting falls under the category of larceny (VA Code §18.2-103). Larceny involves unlawfully taking someone else’s property with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of it without their consent. The value of the items stolen determines the severity of the offense. If the items are valued at less than $1,000, they are considered petty larceny. If the value exceeds $1,000, it is treated as grand larceny. Virginia handles shoplifting charges consistently, regardless of whether they fall under petty or grand larceny.

Evidence of Shoplifting in Virginia

An individual in the state of Virginia may face charges for shoplifting if they knowingly conceal items or take possession of goods in a store without consent. This includes actions such as altering price tags on store items, transferring goods between containers with the intent to acquire the property without paying the full purchase price, or defrauding the store owner of the property’s value.

To secure a shoplifting conviction in Virginia, the Commonwealth must establish that the offender concealed an item or took possession of a store owner’s merchandise with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of their property. Additionally, it must be proven that the offender did not pay the full purchase price for the item or items in question.

Hiding and Holding: In Virginia, concealing an item within a store is sufficient for a shoplifting charge, even if the offender hasn’t left the premises. On the other hand, taking possession involves physically leaving the store with the item.

Intent Matters: To convict someone of shoplifting in Virginia, the Commonwealth must establish intent to deprive the owner of their property permanently. This intent can be demonstrated through actions like concealing an item while in the store, altering price tags, walking past points of sale without paying, or transferring goods between items.

Value Check: If the shoplifting charge in Virginia is grand larceny, the Commonwealth must prove that the item or items are valued at $1,000 or more.

Charge of Assisting a Shoplifter in Virginia

In Virginia, an individual can face a shoplifting charge under VA Code §18.2-103 if they aid another person in shoplifting items.

Detention by Store Security on Suspicion of Shoplifting in Virginia

According to VA Code §18.2-105.1, a store owner or their representative has the authority to detain a suspected shoplifter for up to one hour while awaiting police arrival.

Penalties for Shoplifting Charges in Virginia

Given that shoplifting in Virginia is categorized as a form of larceny, the legal consequences align with those for Virginia larceny charges.

Virginia’s shoplifting charge, as outlined in VA Code §18.2-103, results in either petty larceny (VA Code §18.2-96) or grand larceny (VA Code §18.2-95) penalties, contingent on the stolen items’ value.

For items valued at less than $1,000, the offense is treated as petty larceny, punishable by up to 12 months of jail time and a fine of up to $2,500.

If the items are valued at $1,000 or more, the offense is considered grand larceny, with a potential sentence of up to 20 years.

In addition to incarceration and fines, the offender may be obligated to provide restitution to compensate the victim for their loss. Furthermore, regardless of conviction, the individual might face a ban from the store or property in question.

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