If you are being charged with shoplifting, you may be confused as to the legal process and what the charges will entail. Here are some things that you should know about shoplifting in Virginia.
A simple charge of shoplifting is far from being a slam-dunk case for the prosecutor if the accused is ably defended. Before being granted a conviction, the prosecutor must prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused took the property without the owner’s consent, and that the defendant actually carried out the the crime of which he or she was accused– not an altogether easy thing to do.
The definition of shoplifting, in addition to the obvious act of acquiring merchandise without paying for it, can include altering price tags on merchandise, disarming alarm tags, transferring merchandise to a different container, charging merchandise to unaware or fictitious people, or passing along tips on how to shoplift to someone else. If the goods in question have a total value of less than $200 dollars, you can be charged with petit larceny. If the value exceeds $200 dollars, that becomes grand larceny, often classified as a felony.
Furthermore, merchants can recover a civil judgment against anyone who shoplifts from them, ranging from a minimum of $50 dollars to twice the unpaid retail value of the merchandise. A merchant could demand such repayment in exchange for refraining from pursuing criminal action.
As you can see, many aspects of the case can affect the proceedings and the potential penalties. If you are facing this situation, Faraji Rosenthall offers free consultations to discuss the matter. Simply call (703) 934-0101 where we will happily discuss your case, either face to face or over the phone. We have three offices to serve you in Fairfax, Manassas and Alexandria VA.