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Virginia Larceny Laws and Punishments

All states in the United States have laws that criminalize stealing someone else's property, usually charged as either theft or larceny. In Virginia, this particular crime is called larceny. While theft/larceny is a crime that's closely related to robbery, the primary distinction is that robbery generally involves some kind of force or threat of force to steal from the victim.

Defining Larceny in Virginia

Virginia's statutes don't provide a definition of larceny. But common law defines larceny as the unlawful taking and carrying away of someone else's property without the owner's consent and with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of the property. Virginia has separate statutes addressing larceny, which are generally distinguished by the value of the property that's stolen or the nature of the stolen property. For example, there's a separate statute that addresses stealing a dog, mule, cow, steer, bull, calf, horse, or pony; an offense charged as a Class 5 felony.

Virginia Larceny Laws and Punishments at a Glance

Reading the language of the actual laws that apply to your legal issue is very important, but it can also be helpful to read a summary of those laws without a bunch of legal jargon. Luckily, you've come to the right place. In the following chart you can find an overview of Virginia larceny laws and punishments and links to relevant statutes.


Virginia Code:

Grand Larceny vs. Petit Larceny

Grand Larceny:

  • Theft of money/property that's valued at $5 or more from someone's person;
  • Theft of personal property that's valued at $200 or more; or
  • Theft of any firearm (regardless of its value).

Petit Larceny:

  • Theft of money/property that's valued at less than $5 from someone's person; or
  • Theft of personal property that's valued at less than $200.
Punishments for Larceny

Grand Larceny: Punishable by 1 to 20 years in prison, or (in the discretion of a court or jury) punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,5000.

Petit Larceny: Punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Related Statute(s)

Virginia Code Section 18.2-58, et seq. (Robbery)

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Virginia Larceny Laws and Punishments: Related Resources

For more information and resources related to this topic, please visit the links below.

More Questions About Virginia Larceny Laws? Speak With a Lawyer Today

As you can see, the punishment for a larceny conviction varies depending on the circumstances. The best way to better understand Virginia larceny laws and punishments is to talk to an attorney. If you've been charged with larceny or any other crime in Virginia, it's in your best interest to contact a local criminal defense lawyer who can analyze the facts of your case and explain your options moving forward.

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