There are three types of theft that are categorized as grand larceny in Fairfax, Virginia. First, if one commits a larceny that is not from a person of goods that are valued at $200 or more. Second, if one commits a larceny from the person of another of goods that are valued at $5 or more. Third, if one commits a larceny of a firearm not from a person regardless of value. The most typical type of grand larceny is a theft from a store of items that are valued at more than $200. If the value of goods are less than $200 and not from a person, it is a lesser charge of petit larceny.
If a defendant is found guilty of grand larceny, punishment can range from as little as a fine to as much as 20 years in prison. This wide punishment range is reflective of the diverse sets of circumstances that fall within this charge as well as the variation in criminal history of defendants.
Larceny is defined as the taking of goods belonging to another without the consent of that person or business with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of possession of those goods. So, for instance, borrowing a person's car without their permission, but with the intention of returning the vehicle, would not meet the elements necessary to prove a larceny.
The most common form of larceny is shoplifting. Most department stores and large franchise businesses have a system in place to combat shoplifting and hire at least one employee to patrol the store. That employee is typically referred to as the loss prevention officer. The complexity of loss prevention measures varies drastically from store to store. Some may have surveillance cameras recording at all times with multiples loss prevention officers working to both monitor the surveillance cameras and patrol the store. Others may have no cameras at all and simply employ an individual to patrol the store. The loss prevention officer, while not an actual police officer, will often be the primary source of evidence used against a defendant in a larceny case.
As with all felonies in Virginia, a charge of grand larceny will typically start in the General District Court and will be set for a preliminary hearing. A preliminary hearing is held to determine whether probable cause exists sufficient to submit the case to the grand jury for indictment. It is not until after the preliminary hearing that the case is set for an actual trial. Nonetheless, it is very important to start preparing a defense as early as possible.
If you have been charged with grand larceny, you should speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Henson Pachuta, PLLC offers free consultations by phone at 703-822-4701 or at our office at 4011 Chain Bridge Road, Suite 200, Fairfax, Virginia 22030.