John Elledge & Assoc PC
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A bilingual law firm serving Shenandoah Valley and the surrounding areas of Virginia.

What is the difference between grand and petit larceny?

A larceny is generally a theft and a theft can involve a number of elements. It can involve the taking of property from someone else and the intent of the taking party to prevent the property's owner from ever getting it back. In Virginia, larcenies are classified as either grand or petit.

Grand larceny concerns takings of property with higher monetary values. For example, taking someone's personal property valued at $200 or more is grand larceny; taking property that is valued under $200 is considered petit larceny. However, if a person takes property off of another person's body, then the value of that property only needs to be $5 to be considered grand larceny. The theft of any firearm is also considered grand larceny.

Any grand larceny conviction can be met with a serious punishment. A person convicted of this crime can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison under Virginia law, though at the discretion of the court a sentence may be much shorter and may involve a fine.

Petit larceny charges are misdemeanors and are punished to a lesser degree. However, no larceny conviction looks good on a person's criminal record, and for that reason, it may be useful for individuals to fight their criminal charges.

A criminal defense attorney can provide their client with information that is both important and relevant to their specific case. Virginia residents who are facing allegations of larceny and theft have the right to seek out their own legal representatives and to be provided to legal counsel on their options for defending themselves against their charges.

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