Grand Theft involves the taking of property of a certain level of value. The dollar amount varies from state to state, often being set at $500.00. The prosecutor has the burden of proving that the value of the item or items taken reaches this threshold.
Definition of “Grand Theft”
Certain types of property automatically fall into the category of Grand Theft, including automobiles, firearms and farm animals. Property can also be defined as money, real estate or even labor. When any of these items of value are taken permanently and the value exceeds a certain limit, this is classified as Grand Theft.
Penalties If Convicted
- Potential punishment includes a jail term of one year or more. Depending on the value of the property stolen, jail terms may be as long as twenty years. In addition to a jail sentence, a person convicted of Grand Theft will usually be given a set amount of probation after serving their time in jail.
- Fines may be levied on a person convicted of grand theft, up to and exceeding $100,000. If a person convicted of Grand Theft does not have the cash to pay fines, property may be seized and wages garnished to pay the fine, as well as to pay any reparations due to the property owner.
- In addition to fines, a person convicted of a felony theft usually has to pay restitution to the victim. Payment of an amount equal to the value of the stolen property is required to be given directly to the owner of the property that was taken.
Degrees Of Grand Theft
One factor in sentencing and penalties for Grand Theft is the value of the property taken. Property that just meets the definition of grand theft is treated differently than highly valued property in sentencing guidelines. The specific degrees of Grand Theft are determined at a state level.
For example, property valued at under $20,000 may be considered third degree Grand Theft, depending on the state. Theft of property valued at more than $20,000 but less than $100,000 may be considered as second degree and anything over $100,000 as first degree.
Examples of Grand Theft Crimes
Grand Theft is a felony crime with the threshold and penalties determined by the state in which the crime was committed. There are different levels of Grand Theft, depending on the dollar value of the property taken, including the value of labor. Certain types of property, such as automobiles, automatically fall under the category of Grand Theft.
- Vehicle Theft – This is a classic example of Grand Theft, since vehicles are almost always worth over $500.
- Serious Shoplifting – Theft of items that have a high dollar value and serial shoplifting fall under this category.
- Credit Card Fraud and Identity Theft – Statutes regarding these crimes are determined by the state in which the theft was committed. This charge includes using a stolen credit card, using your own credit card while knowing that it has expired or is over the limit and using another person’s credit card without their consent. Using the internet for credit card fraud usually falls under the category of Grand Theft.
Mitigating Penalties for Grand Theft
Penalties for grand theft include jail time, fines and restitution to the property owner. There are degrees of Grand Theft, with first degree being the most serious offense. The level of Grand Theft is determined by the value of the property that was stolen. Serious shoplifting and credit card and/or identity theft fall under the category of Grand Theft.
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If you have been charged with any form of theft in Virginia, it is in your best interest to work with experienced counsel. Contact The Brown Firm PLLC for a free consultation to learn about how we can help you get the best result possible for your case.