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Can I Be Convicted of Petit Larceny if I Don't Take the Item Out of the Store?

Aug. 8, 2017

Yes. Virginia law does not require that you take the item out of the store. You can be charge with Petit Larceny if you put something in your pocket or purse without paying for it. It's common for Wal-Mart employees to stop people before they've left the store and call the police to charge them with Petit Larceny.

What's the Different Between Petit Larceny and Shoplifting?

Shoplifting is a specific kind of larceny. Larceny includes any time you take someone else's property with the intent to keep it. It can include stealing your neighbor's lawnmower or pick-pocketing. But shoplifting is specifically when you take merchandise from a store without paying. Shoplifting can also include if you switch the price tags on merchandise or if you attempt to return an item that you did not purchase.

Is There a First Time Offender Program for Petit Larceny?

It depends on where you're charged with petit larceny. If you're charge in Albemarle or Charlottesville, there is no first time offender program. However, if you're charged in Staunton, you might be able to be put on probation and have the charge dismissed if you complete a class and stay out of trouble.

If I've Already Confessed to Larceny, Do I Still Need an Attorney?

You should at least consult with an attorney about your options. Your understanding of what a confession is might be different than what an actual admission is. Also, given the potential job and employment consequences, you would be wise to make sure that you don't do anything you will regret down the road?

If I'm Convicted of Larceny, Can I Get the Charge Expunged?

No. In Virginia if you're convicted of a crime, you cannot have the charge expunged unless the governor pardons you.