VA Criminal Defense Lawyers Explain Organized Retail Theft Crime Charges

If you’re accused of organized retail theft in Virginia, you’re facing felony charges that could result in harsh punishments and long-term consequences if convicted. Your first step should be to retain an experienced Manassas criminal defense attorney at The Wilson Law Firm who will mount an aggressive defense strategy to help you achieve the best outcome in your criminal case. 

Understanding What Constitutes Organized Retail Crime in Virginia criminals in store indicated organized retail theft

Organized retail theft is much more serious than shoplifting.

In 2023, the Virginia legislature, like those in many states, enacted new legislation to combat retail theft in our state. Being charged with this offense can result in a felony conviction with significant penalties, including a lengthy prison sentence.

You must understand what this crime is and how you could be sentenced if you’re convicted so you can make the right decisions in your criminal case. 

Under Virginia Code §18.2-103.1, a person can be found guilty of organized retail crime if they conspire or act in concert with another individual to commit simple larceny in one or more retail merchandise establishments where the aggregated value of stolen property exceeds $5,000 over a 90-day period.

The larceny crimes can be committed in different cities or counties during this 90-day timeframe. In addition, the following must be established:

  • The accused must have an intent to sell the stolen retail property for monetary or other gain.
  • They must have placed the stolen property in the control of a retail property fence or another person.

Organized Retail Theft Crime Penalties

If convicted of organized retail theft in Virginia, the charge is classified as a Class 3 felony. The sentence for a Class 3 felony can be severe, with potential consequences including up to 20 years of imprisonment.

Retaining an experienced criminal defense lawyer who understands the complexities of this law is essential. The knowledgeable professionals at The Wilson Law Firm are able to craft a robust defense strategy tailored to your specific situation, challenge the prosecutor’s evidence against you, and fight so that the charges are dropped or reduced to a less serious offense.

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