Many shoplifting cases in Virginia are charged under Virginia Code 18.2-103 which makes it a crime to conceal merchandise. This code section makes it a larceny to conceal merchandise or alter the price tag of merchandise with the purpose of taking the merchandise.
That statute, commonly known as “concealment,” is Virginia Code Section 18.2-103:
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 establishment, 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.
As the code makes clear, concealment is actually just a type of larceny and if a defendant commits the offense of concealment he can be convicted of petit or grand larceny depending on the value of the goods or merchandise.
The attorneys at Henson Pachuta, PLLC have extensive experience with shoplifting charges and can help you determine what defenses you have and what strategy to employ in your case. We offer free consultations by phone at 703-822-4701 or at our office at 4011 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 200, Fairfax, Virginia 22030. You can also contact us through our website and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
Why do we offer free consultations?
When you have been charged with a crime, it is one of the most stressful moments of your life. Most people are just not sure what to expect and what steps they should take. In one conversation we can usually determine what the likely outcomes of your case are what you can do today to get the best outcome possible.
We got into this line of work because we wanted to help people. If we don’t think you need a lawyer, we will tell you so. We hope that you will still find our consultation helpful and will consider passing our name along to friends or family who find themselves facing a criminal or traffic charge in Northern Virginia some day.
If we do think you would benefit from having a lawyer, we will tell you so. We can tell you about our particular qualifications and experience, and we hope that you will choose us as your lawyers for your case.