A Virginia court seal, usually seen in a criminal defense case in Newport News and Hampton.


Larceny & Shoplifting

Shoplifting, and larceny in general, are serious charges that can serve a harsh punishment. Understanding the charges that you are facing is important. Above all, a shoplifting defense attorney with thorough experience is helpful in these cases. In short, you can call us, the attorneys of Goff Voltin, to get a rigorous defense.


  • In Virginia, Larceny is derived from common law.
    • Larceny is “the wrongful taking of the goods of another without the owner’s consent with the intention to deprive the owner thereof.”  Bright v. Commonwealth, 4 Va. App. 248 (1987).
    • In Virginia, if the value of goods stolen is $500 or more, the crime is felony grand larceny.  If the value of the goods is less than $500, the crime is misdemeanor petit larceny.
    • Grand larceny in Virginia is punishable by up to twenty years in prison and/or a $2,500 fine.  Petit larceny is punishable by up to twelve months in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.
    • It is also important to note that petit larceny may include higher punishments for subsequent convictions. A third or subsequent conviction for petit larceny can be punished as a felony for instance. 
    • GRAND LARCENY: http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter5/section18.2-95/
    • PETIT LARCENY: http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter5/section18.2-96/
    • HIGHER PUNISHMENTS FOR MULTIPLE CONVICTIONS: http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter5/section18.2-104/


  • Shoplifting is usually charged as a crime of concealment.
    • To convict someone of concealment, the Commonwealth must prove “a willful concealment of merchandise done with the intent to convert the merchandise or to defraud the shopkeeper.”  Johnson v. Commonwealth, 35 Va. App. 134 (2001).
    • The concealment statute criminalizes the act of concealing merchandise in a store, even before an individual has exited the premises.  
    • The crime is petit larceny if the concealed merchandise is worth less than $500. However, If the merchandise is worth more than $500, the crime is punishable as grand larceny.

In other words, Representation by a criminal defense attorney is helpful in these cases.

VIRGINIA CODE: http://law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title18.2/chapter5/section18.2-103/

If you or a loved one need larceny and shoplifting defense, call the attorneys of Goff Voltin for their expert analysis and defense.

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Anyone could find themselves facing criminal charges. In fact, a criminal charge can have lasting effects on the lives of those with such charges on their records. However, in order to effectively handle a serious legal situation, individuals often need to understand what they are facing. If you have a criminal law charges in Newport News, Hampton, Williamsburg, Yorktown or the rest of the Hampton Roads area, call the criminal defense attorneys at Goff Voltin, PLLC today.