Virginia petty larceny is one of the many theft charges in the Virginia Code. It is either a misdemeanor or felony, based on the value of the item taken and the number of the offender’s prior convictions.
Virginia Petty Larceny Defined
Petty larceny in Virginia is the wrongful taking of an item valued at less than $5 from a person with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property, or the wrongful taking of an item worth less than $200 NOT from the person, with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. Virginia petty larceny is charged under Va. Code §18.2-96.
Shoplifting in Virginia is one way to charge larceny. Virginia shoplifting charges are found in Va. Code §18.2-103. Shoplifting can be charged in Virginia if the offender concealed goods, altered the price tag on a store item, or paid less than the full value of the item. Shoplifting items worth less than $200 is petty larceny, and it is a punished as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Receiving Stolen Goods
Receiving stolen goods (charged under Va. Code §18.2-108) is a form of Virginia petty larceny if the value of the goods taken is less than $200.
Proof of Virginia Petty Larceny Charge
To convict on a Virginia petty larceny charge, the Commonwealth must prove that the offender:
- took an item
- valued at less than $200 (or less than $5 if taken directly from the person)
- without the owner’s consent
- with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of his property.
The Virginia Petty Larceny Statute
Va. Code §18.2-96 states that anyone who:
1. Commits larceny from the person of another of money or other thing of value of less than $5, or
2. Commits simple larceny not from the person of another of goods and chattels of the value of less than $200, except as provided in subdivision (iii) of § 18.2-95, shall be deemed guilty of petit larceny, which shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.
Virginia Petty Larceny Punishment
Virginia petty larceny is a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is punished with up to 12 months in jail, a fine up to $2500, or both. Because it is a Class 1 misdemeanor, a first offense Virginia petty larceny can be punished with up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $2500. There is no mandatory minimum punishment.
There are increased penalties for second and third larceny convictions in Virginia. A second offense Virginia petty larceny charge is punished with a MINIMUM of 30 days. The offender can be sentenced to up to 12 months, pursuant to Va. Code §18.2-104. A third offense Virginia petty larceny charges is a Class 6 felony. It is punished with up to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $2500. A third petty larceny in Virginia is a felony regardless of the value of the items taken.