With more people using online shopping and having their purchases delivered to their homes, package theft is becoming a more common crime in Virginia. This offense can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony in our state.
If you have been charged with stealing packages off an individual’s doorstep, you need to understand the charges you face and how you could be punished if convicted. This will help you defend yourself and make the right decisions in your criminal case.
What Is the Crime of Package Theft in Virginia?
There is no separate crime of stealing packages off victims’ porches in Virginia. This offense is charged under Virginia’s larceny statutes. Larceny is defined under our commonwealth’s common law as the wrongful or fraudulent taking of an individual’s personal property without their permission and with the intent to deprive them of their property permanently. There are two types of larceny crimes an accused can be charged with committing:
- Petit larceny. Under Virginia Code §18.2-96, the offense would be petit larceny if the value of the goods stolen is less than $1,000. Petit larceny is a Class 1 misdemeanor.
- Grand larceny. If the value of the goods stolen is $1,000 or more, an individual would be charged with grand larceny under Virginia Code §18.2-95. It is an unclassified felony.
What Are the Penalties for Package Theft in Virginia?
Stealing packages from victims’ doorsteps or porches is punished harshly in our state. If convicted, a person could be sentenced to the following:
- Petit larceny. The sentence would be up to 12 months in jail, a fine not exceeding $2,500, or both.
- Grand larceny. The punishment for grand larceny is a prison sentence of not less than one year to up to 20 years. However, the judge or jury trying the case has the discretion to reduce the penalty to a jail sentence not exceeding 12 months, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
If you have been charged with package theft in Virginia, you need the retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer who will aggressively defend you. This could result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense—even if you believe you are guilty. Call our Manassas office at 888-DUI-LWYR or complete our convenient online form to schedule your free initial consultation today to learn what to expect in your criminal case and find out more about how we can assist you.