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Types of property crimes and penalties in Virginia

On Behalf of | Dec 8, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Virginia takes property crimes seriously, with various categories of offenses and associated penalties. You should understand the differences if you or a loved one faces these charges.

Reviewing the types of property crimes established by state law can help you navigate the legal system.


Theft involves unlawfully taking someone else’s property with the intent to permanently deprive them of it. The value of the stolen items determines the severity of the charges. Penalties range from fines to imprisonment.

Car thefts, in particular, are becoming more common in Virginia. This category increased by 22% from 2021 to 2022.


A burglary occurs when an individual enters a building intending to commit a crime inside. The state distinguishes between burglary and breaking and entering. Burglary carries more severe penalties, including imprisonment.


This offense involves entering someone else’s property without permission. Depending on the circumstances, trespassing charges can result in fines or other penalties. Aggravated trespassing, such as entering someone’s home unlawfully, may lead to more severe consequences.


Maliciously damaging someone else’s property is a criminal offense. The severity of vandalism penalties depends on the extent of the damage and the value of the property affected.


Arson involves intentionally setting fire to property. Penalties can range from significant fines to lengthy prison sentences, especially if the act causes injury or death.


Concealing merchandise with the intent to steal is a common property crime. Shoplifting penalties vary based on the value of the stolen items and prior convictions.

Grand larceny

Stealing property valued above $500 constitutes grand larceny in Virginia. A person could receive substantial fines and imprisonment for this felony conviction.

Remain informed about the possible consequences of property crimes as you prepare to navigate the legal system.

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