[VIDEO] Is Shoplifting a Misdemeanor or Felony?

It depends on the value of the items that you are accused of stealing and this is why you definitely need to contact a me ASAP.

Update: In 2018 Virginia raised the felony threshold to $500. If you are charged with goods less than $500, it’s a misdemeanor, $500+ is a felony.

Video Transcription

Hello, my name is Andrew Flusche. I am your Virginia defense lawyer. Is shoplifting a misdemeanor or a felony? Unfortunately, it depends based on the facts of the case. There’s two things that we have to look at to determine whether shoplifting in Virginia is a misdemeanor or a felony.

The first thing is the value of the items that you are accused of stealing. If you’re accused of taking less than $200 worth of items or merchandise, then it would normally be a misdemeanor offense. If the value of that one incident is more than $200, that becomes a felony offense, if it’s charged that way. So that’s the first question is, the value. Is it less than 200 or more than 200. That’s the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony but it doesn’t end there.

The second consideration we have to look at is your record. If you have two prior theft related convictions on your record, anywhere in the world, anytime in your life, your third theft related offense in Virginia becomes a felony. Even if it’s a misdemeanor level. Let’s say you were convicted two times before, 30 years ago, of shoplifting and now you’re accused of stealing $5 from 7-Eleven. That would be a felony offense potentially because it’s your third theft related offense.

The first thing we look at is the value. Is it less than 200, then it’s likely to be a misdemeanor but you also have to look at your record. Have you ever been found guilty of shoplifting before and if so, how many times and really any theft related offense. Maybe one time it was a pickpocket, one time it was embezzlement, and the third time it’s shoplifting. Now you could be facing a felony charge, even though the value of the items is very minimal.

This is why you definitely need to contact a defense lawyer ASAP. Give me a call so I can help you with your case. If you’re charged with a misdemeanor, that’s definitely the type of case that I handle and I would love to talk with you about it. If you are charged with felony, then we can hopefully refer you to a colleague of mine that handles those offenses, so you can get the proper representation that you deserve. Either way, whether you’re charged with a misdemeanor shoplifting or a felony shoplifting in Virginia.

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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