First Offense Theft Cases in Virginia

Starting July 1, 2020, a person charged with any misdemeanor theft or larceny related crime can have the case deferred and ultimately dismissed under Virginia law.  Prior to that, Courts had no authority to defer larceny charges so that a person charged with a first offense shoplifting could end up without a criminal record.

Under the new version of § 19.2-303.2, Virginia Courts now have the ability to set terms upon which a defendant can work off any misdemeanor charge involving theft.  This would include petit larceny (§18.2-96), shoplifting (§18.2-103) and embezzlement (§ 18.2-111) in an amount under $1,000.  Courts will typically require community service, theft prevention classes, restitution and a period of good behavior to have the case dismissed.

If you are charged with a theft related offense, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Winslow & McCurry via email at or by phone at (804) 423-1382 to see if you are eligible under this new law. We would like to help.