Need a Lawyer for First-Time Shoplifting Charges in Virginia?

Certainly. In Virginia, a shoplifting accusation, even for the first time, constitutes a criminal misdemeanor if the items’ value is below $500. However, if the value exceeds $500, it escalates to a felony, even on the first occurrence.

Misdemeanor shoplifting, classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor, can lead to a jail term of up to 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500. Additionally, a shoplifting conviction remains on your record indefinitely, permanently impacting various aspects of your life. Such a record can jeopardize job opportunities, security clearances, and housing prospects, and for non-U.S. citizens, it may result in deportation or render them ineligible for immigration benefits.

first time shoplifting charges in virginia

Certain areas, like Fairfax County, have a program for individuals who commit their first misdemeanor shoplifting offense. In this program, you must acknowledge your guilt upfront. Then, the court delays officially declaring you guilty, putting you on probation for a specific time. During probation, you must attend a shoplifting education course, perform community service hours, and maintain good conduct.

If you complete probation without breaking the law again, the charge against you will be dropped. However, it’s crucial to understand that even though the charge is dropped, it can’t be removed from your criminal record under current Virginia laws. Additionally, not all areas provide programs like this for first-time shoplifting offenders.

If you’re accused of shoplifting, hiring a skilled Arlington criminal defense lawyer from Bississo Law, P. C. who can assist you in navigating the legal processes and work towards the best outcome is crucial.