Finally Getting Grand Larceny Right
From a legal perspective, one of the most interesting dates on the calendar is July 1. That is when many of the laws passed by the Virginia’s General Assembly go into effect. As that date approaches, there is one law in particular that regular readers of this blog will recognize: the grand larceny threshold.
Summary of the Grand Larceny Problem:
In August 2016, this blog educated readers about the difference between grand larceny and petit larceny. With some exceptions, the difference is in the value of the item(s) stolen. If the value is $200 or more, according to Virginia law, it becomes grand larceny. This is significant because grand larceny is a felony.
In April 2017, another post was written about the failure of the General Assembly last year to raise the $200 threshold between grand and petit larceny. That threshold was set in 1980 and had not been raised, making it one of the strictest in the country. Those frustrated with the General Assembly’s failure noted that, if the threshold had been attached to the rate of inflation from its inception in 1980, it would be $583 rather than $200.
Change to the Grand Larceny Threshold:
Anyone who has followed Virginia politics over the last year knows that the balance of power has shifted, and many values that were entrenched in the General Assembly also shifted. The grand larceny threshold was one of them.
Once again, just as in 2017, a bill was introduced to raise the threshold from $200 to $500. It was called HB 1550. Unlike in 2017, the bill was passed in the Assembly and sent to new Governor Ralph Northam for his signature. On April 4, 2018, he signed it. The threshold has been more than doubled, effective July 1, 2018.
The raising of this threshold should not be seen as an encouragement to break the law. After all, any form of theft is inherently evil, no matter the cost of the item stolen. However, in raising the threshold, the General Assembely, apparently, is trying to make the punishment fit the crime, so to speak. As the value of items has increased, the threshold for larceny has now risen with it. If you need a defense attorney who will provide value to you, call or e-mail today for a free consultation!
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