As a crime with a high rate of frequency, theft continues to be one of the most reported crimes across the nation. When it comes to laws surrounding theft, every state has its own unique set of rules and regulations.

In Virginia, theft is a type of larceny where an individual takes another person’s property against their will and without their consent. There are several different types of theft crimes in Virginia, each with its own specific elements and penalties if convicted. To help you understand the specifics of these laws, this article contains detailed information on common types of theft in Virginia as well as their associated punishments if convicted. Keep reading to learn more.

What are Virginia Theft Laws?

The legal definition of larceny will depend on state law and the specific circumstances surrounding it. In Virginia, larceny is defined as the “unlawful taking, carrying away or carrying off of tangible property.” It also includes a lesser included offense known as petty theft.

In Virginia, a person commits theft by unlawful taking, carrying away or carrying off of property for which ownership has been legally transferred to another person. This crime called taking (or “larceny by robbery”) occurs when someone takes the property of another in an aggressive and unlawful manner. Even if you had your own personal right to the item taken, you are still considered guilty of theft if you unlawfully take it from its rightful owner.

What are Virginia Theft Laws for?

Virginia theft laws apply to both retail and wholesale thefts. Retail theft is defined as the taking of property with the intent to sell or otherwise make a profit. Retail theft requires that the stolen property was taken from a store, home or other commercial establishment owned by someone else.

What are Virginia Theft Laws for

While this crime is categorized in Virginia as larceny, it is important to note that there are several different types of theft in Virginia. Petty theft is a misdemeanor offense in Virginia if you steal property worth less than $200.00, but more than $50.00 value and you intend to deprive the owner of its use or benefit.

Examples of Cases for Virginia Theft Laws

Below are some example scenarios and how they would be handled in court depending on the type of theft involved.

Retail Theft – If you steal a $100.00 bracelet from a retail store you would be charged with petty theft and sentenced to 12 months in prison. This charge would be considered a misdemeanor, bringing with it up to 6 months in prison and/or fines up to $500.00.

Petty Theft (under $50.) – When it comes to petty thefts less than $50, it is considered a misdemeanor in Virginia. Penalties include up to 12 months imprisonment , no fine, or both . These penalties apply to crimes where property is worth $200.00 or less.

Where Can You Find More Information About Virginia Theft Laws

The Virginia Code of Criminal Procedure is your best resource for information about theft and other criminal offenses in Virginia. This specific chapter can be found under Title 18, Crimes and Criminal Procedure. This section provides detailed information on every type of criminal offense in the state and contains information for every county in Virginia.