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What are criminal charges for conspiracy for larceny or trespass?

In Virginia, if there are charges for trespass or larceny, it is a natural assumption that those who are charged will be the individuals who are accused of committing the act. However, there are others who can be charged too. If there was a conspiracy to commit the crime, people who took part in the planning can be arrested and charged as well. Understanding the law for conspiracy in this context is imperative to the criminal defense.

For example, when there is a person who took part in a plan in the Commonwealth to enter another's property whether it is land, the premises, a building or any other area, knowing they are not legally allowed to do so in writing or orally, or knows because there is a posting sign saying so, it will be a Class 3 misdemeanor charge. When there is a conviction for a Class 3 misdemeanor, the person faces a fine of up to $500.

When the conspiracy to commit trespass or larceny is done and the value of the merchandise comes to at least $500, the charge rises to a felony. Being convicted of this allegation - whether the person committed the act of trespassing or larceny or took part in planning it - will result in at least one year incarceration and up to 20 years. Willfully concealing merchandise or goods of a store or mercantile while the person is on the premises will be accepted as proof that the individual intended to take the items without payment or permission. This will be a separate, distinct felony.

There might be a perception that not taking part in committing the crime itself and simply taking part in the discussion of the crime or helping in its planning will not yield penalties when there is an arrest. This is a mistake. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding or the person who is accused did not know the crime was going to take place. Negotiating plea bargains could be a useful strategy. There can be harsh penalties for a conviction of conspiracy. It is problematic if there is even a misdemeanor on a person's record. A felony is worse. It is wise to have a legal defense from the beginning when it comes to criminal allegations.

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