Roanoke Theft Attorneys Providing Honest And Aggressive Representation
It’s common for people to use the terms robbery, burglary, and theft interchangeably. But, the truth is that these are three separate crimes in the state of Virginia, each of which are aggressively prosecuted. If you have been accused of committing theft, burglary, or robbery, contact a Roanoke criminal defense attorney of the Law Office of Seth C. Weston, PLC at once to discuss your case.
What Constitutes Theft?
Theft is referred to as larceny in Virginia. This crime involves the unlawful taking of someone else’s property with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of the stolen property.
What is Petty Theft vs. Grand Theft?
There are two types of theft that are recognized by state law: petty and grand larceny. The difference between these two crimes is the value of the property that has been stolen. Theft is considered petty when it involves property that is less than $500.
However, if the property is stolen directly from the rightful owner, it is only considered petty larceny if the property is valued at less than $5. Petty theft is not as serious as grand theft, so it is classified as a class 1 misdemeanor.
If the property that is stolen is valued at more than $500, the crime is considered grand larceny, or grand theft. It is also considered grand theft if the property is stolen directly from the owner and is valued at more than $5.
The third and final type of grand theft involves the unlawful taking of someone else’s firearm. Stealing a firearm is always considered grand larceny regardless of the value of the firearm.
All types of grand theft are felonies that carry serious penalties, including possible time behind bars. Defendants who are convicted of grand theft can face between 1-20 years in prison in addition to substantial fines.
What is Robbery?
Robbery is similar to theft, so it’s not hard to see why people confuse the two crimes. There is one major difference between theft and robbery: the latter involves the use of force or threats, whereas the former does not. If property is stolen through the use of force or while making threats against the victim, the crime is considered robbery, not theft.
Is Robbery A Felony?
Robbery is considered a violent crime since it involves the use of force or threats. For this reason, robbery is a felony in Virginia.
Unfortunately, the law does not specify the amount of force that must be used in order to constitute robbery. This means that a crime can be considered robbery if the slightest bit of force was used.
Because robbery is a felony, a conviction comes with serious penalties. Defendants who are convicted of robbery can face anywhere between five years to life behind bars.
The law is slightly different for other types of robbery, specifically carjacking. This crime is also a felony, but it is punishable by between 15 years and life behind bars.
What is the Definition of Burglary?
Burglary is the act of breaking and entering into a building, home, or other structure in order to commit a crime while inside. For example, someone who breaks into a home and steals property from inside has committed burglary.
However, some burglary crimes do not involve theft. For instance, breaking into a building in order to commit arson is considered burglary even though it does not involve the theft of property.
Is Burglary A Felony or Misdemeanor?
Burglary is a felony crime in Virginia, but the class of felony can vary depending on the nature of the offense. Breaking into a home at night to commit a felony crime or any form of theft is a class 3 felony, but it becomes a class 2 felony if you were armed with a weapon at the time the crime was committed.
This is true regardless of whether or not the weapon was used when the crime was committed. Breaking and entering in order to commit murder, arson, rape, or robbery is also a class 3 felony unless a deadly weapon is involved. The presence of a deadly weapon increases the crime to a class 2 felony.
If someone burglars a building or home with the intent to commit a misdemeanor while inside, the crime is a class 6 felony. But, if the defendant was armed with a deadly weapon, the crime is a class 2 felony regardless of whether or not the defendant intended on committing a misdemeanor while inside.
Even the possession of burglary tools is a felony in Virginia. This crime is charged as a class 5 felony.
Can A Burglary Charge Be Reduced or Dropped?
An experienced burglary attorney will know how to beat a burglary charge. Sometimes, the best way to beat the charge is to negotiate to have it reduced to a less serious crime.
For example, let’s say you are facing class 3 felony charges for breaking and entering with the intent to commit a felony crime. Your theft crimes attorney in Roanoke may be able to prove that you intended on committing a misdemeanor crime, not a felony crime, once inside. If the prosecutor agrees, the class 3 felony charges will be dropped to class 6 felony charges, which carry lighter penalties.
If your attorney believes the case against you is weak, he may be able to convince the prosecution to drop the charges altogether. Each case is unique, so each burglary defense is unique as well. Seth C. Weston will analyze your case to determine the best way to defend you against the charges.
Contact Our Award-Winning Roanoke Defense Law Firm To Discuss Your Burglary, Robbery, or Theft Charges
Have you been accused of committing the crimes of burglary, theft, or robbery? If so, seek legal representation from experienced burglary attorney Seth C. Weston at once.
Seth C. Weston will aggressively fight to protect your rights and reach the best possible outcome in your case. To schedule a free consultation, call (540) 384-4585 or fill out the brief form on our website.