Manassas Property and Theft Crime Defense Attorneys
Defending Your Future in Virginia
“Crimes against property” refer to criminal offenses involving theft, destruction, or unauthorized use of another person’s property. Even relatively minor offenses can be charged as misdemeanors, meaning a conviction can lead to significant fines, jail time, and a criminal record. Our Manassas property and theft crime defense lawyers at Dischley Law, PLLC can help you avoid these consequences.
Our firm has over 30 years of legal experience helping clients navigate criminal matters, including crimes against property. We have an extensive knowledge of the relevant laws and leave no stone unturned in protecting your rights and pursuing a positive outcome in your case.
Penalties for Property Crimes in Virginia
A variety of offenses fall under the category of “crimes against property” in Virginia. The extent of the penalties in a conviction will depend on the severity of your case, including the value of the property stolen, destroyed, or abused. More serious offenses with extensive property damage will warrant felony charges, which can lead to multiple years in prison and other harsh penalties.
Our Manassas property and theft crime defense attorneys can assist you with cases involving:
- Arson. This offense involves deliberately setting fire to a structure with the intent of causing damage. Depending on the specifics of the situation, including any dangerous conditions created by the act, arson can be charged as a Class 2 or Class 3 felony. A conviction can lead to a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
- Armed Robbery. If a firearm or any other deadly weapon is used to intimidate a victim or victims in the course of carrying out a robbery, the perpetrator will likely face enhanced charges with stricter sentencing if convicted. The offense will be charged as a Class 2 felony. A conviction guarantees a minimum of 5 years in prison, with a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail plus up to $100,000 in fines.
- Burglary. Common-law burglary involves breaking into someone else’s home at night with the intent to commit theft or any other felony offense. Statutory burglary covers cases in which the perpetrator breaks into a business, commits the offense during the day, or does so with the intention of committing murder, rape, arson, violent theft, assault & battery, or any other felony. Burglaries are typically prosecuted as felonies and can result in maximum prison sentences of 20 years plus fines of up to $100,000.
- Destruction of Property. Intentionally destroying someone else’s property can trigger misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the value of the damaged assets. If the items were valued at less than $1,000, you will likely be charged with a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 1 year and fines of up to $2,500. If you destroy more than $1,000 worth of someone else’s property, you could instead face Class 6 felony charges. This can result in a prison sentence of 1 to 5 years.
- Embezzlement. Stealing money from your employer can result in misdemeanor or felony charges. If you stole less than $500, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and could face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. If you stole $500 or more, you can face felony charges and up to 20 years of jail time.
- Grand Larceny. This felony charge can be triggered when someone exceeds the value thresholds for petty theft. Stealing items valued at more than $5 off someone’s person or items valued more than $1,000 from a store will generally result in grand larceny charges. A conviction can lead to up to 20 years in prison.
- Petty Theft. Formally called petit larceny, this misdemeanor offense involves stealing property from someone else with the intent to permanently deprive them of that property. Stealing items valued at less than $5 from someone’s person or items valued at less than $1,000 from a store will typically be considered petty theft versus grand larceny, a more serious felony offense. A first or second offense can lead to a year in prison and fines of up to $2,500.
- Shoplifting. Stealing from a retail establishment is one of the most common forms of petit larceny, or petty theft. Stores have a right to request additional compensation of up to $350 after all stolen merchandise has been returned in addition to the fines and penalties levied by the court. Shoplifting cases involving the theft of more than $1,000 in merchandise can trigger more serious grand larceny charges.
- Trespassing. Absent any aggravating factors, unlawfully entering another person’s property is a misdemeanor offense that carries a maximum penalty of a year in prison and fines of up to $2,500.
- Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle. This offense is distinct from auto theft in that the perpetrator does not intend to permanently steal the vehicle. The extent of the charges will depend on the vehicle’s value. If you improperly use a vehicle valued at less than $200, you will only face misdemeanor charges, which can result in a year of jail time and up to $2,500 in fines. Improperly using a vehicle valued at more than $200 can lead to felony charges, which carry prison sentences of 1 to 5 years.
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