COVID-19 NOTIFICATION: To protect your safety in response to the threat of COVID-19, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us via teleworking options. Please call or e-mail us to discuss your options. We continue to operate under normal business hours.

Man stealing wallet from purse

Petty Larceny vs Grand Larceny

Learn the Differences Between Petty Larceny and Grand Larceny

Do you know the difference between Petty Larceny vs Grand Larceny? Larceny is a crime that takes place every day in places around the country. This crime occurs when someone steals another person’s or business’s property. When someone commits larceny in a retail setting, this is commonly referred to as shoplifting. Larceny charges can range from misdemeanor penalties to lengthy jail sentences. In our blog this month, we’ll talk about some of the difference between petty larceny, grand larceny. We will also mention what you can do to protect yourself if you ever face those charges. Attorney Wilson C. Pasley skillfully represents clients facing larceny charges.


Larceny is Theft of Property

Larceny is a crime against possession. There are two specific actions which must take place in order for someone to commit larceny. The first is the actual taking of the property, even if momentarily. The second one is the purpose to deprive another person or business of their property. Petty larceny is the theft of a small amount of money or objects valued less than $500. This charge is a misdemeanor and punishable at maximum with a term in the county jail.


States which only use the term “larceny,” often treat theft of smaller amounts as a misdemeanor in sentencing. According to Virginia law, grand larceny is a felony offense punishable by up to 20 years of imprisonment. A person commits Grand larceny when the value of the theft is greater than $1,000. If the theft was physically from a person and valued above $5, it’s considered grant larceny. The commonwealth of Virginia expands larceny and receiving stolen goods in the VA code, visit the website for more information.


How Does Shoplifting Differ from Larceny?

Larceny is theft from a person or a business. Shoplifting is a crime against a retail location. This crime happens inside the store, while larceny happens when you leave the store with the stolen property.  In addition to any criminal penalties stemming from a shoplifting offense, every state has a civil law. Under this law any person who commits shoplifting can be held liable to the store owner.


In the Commonwealth of Virginia, shoplifting is a felony carrying a sentence of one year to twenty years in prison. The maximum monetary penalty for this offense is $ 2,500. Also, this felony remains on your criminal record which puts you in jeopardy.  It can affect your ability to get a job.


Understand What to do if You Are Facing Larceny or Shoplifting Charges

When someone in Virginia is charged with stealing or other stolen property charges, it can be overwhelming. As a former prosecutor, attorney Wilson C. Pasley, PLC knows the rules of law involving law enforcement conduct. Choose strong and diligent defense from our team.


For more information on larceny charges, give Wilson C. Pasley PLC a call at (540) 266-1545. Check out our Facebook page to learn more about petty larceny vs. grand larceny.