Virginia’s Grand Larceny Laws: A Quick Guide

The theft of any item worth more than $5 from another’s person, as well as the theft of any item valued at more than $500, counts as grand larceny in Virginia.

Note: As of July 1st, 2018 the Virginia code has changed the cut-off between petit and grand larceny from $200 to $500.

The Virginia Code considers the act of larceny as the theft of another person’s property. The Code further splits larceny into two different charges (petit and grand), depending on the value of the stolen items.

In this article, we’ll explore Virginia’s grand larceny laws, the larger and more serious offense.

What is Grand Larceny?

Every state has different standards for what qualifies as grand larceny. Virginia defines grand larceny in three parts:

  • Compound Larceny
  • Simple Grand Larceny
  • Simple Grand Larceny of a Firearm

Compound Larceny

The first definition of grand larceny includes any crime where the offender steals from another’s “person.”

For example, mugging, pickpocketing, and cases of assault that lead to theft all count as compound larceny because the items were directly stolen from another person’s physical body.

To meet the requirement for compound grand larceny, the offender must have stolen more than $5 in money or other items from the victim’s “person.”

Anything below this amount counts as petty larceny.

Simple Grand Larceny

The second type of grand larceny applies to any person who commits “simple” larceny for more than $500.

By definition, simple larceny is an act of larceny not performed against another’s “person,” such as stealing from someone’s yard or shoplifting.

In this context, stealing an item worth more than $500 would count as simple grand larceny, but only if the item was not on another’s “person.”

For example, stealing $1,000 in furniture from your neighbor’s yard would count as simple grand larceny.

Simple Grand Larceny of a Firearm

The final type of grand larceny occurs whenever someone steals a firearm. In Virginia, stealing any firearm, regardless of the value, counts as grand larceny.

Further, any crimes committed with the stolen firearm are punished more harshly because of a grand larceny conviction.

Possible Penalties for Grand Larceny in Virginia

Grand larceny is a felony, punishable by imprisonment in a state correctional facility for “not less than one and not more than twenty” years.

For special cases, the court (or jury) can also choose to lower this sentence to confinement in jail for a period not exceeding 1 year and/or a fine of no more than $2,500.

Further, all felony penalties apply when convicted of grand larceny in Virginia. Felons lose their civil rights such as the right to vote, own a firearm, or serve on a jury.

If you lose your rights because of a felony, you’ll need to contact the Virginia Governor’s office to have them restored.


Grand larceny is different in every state. The Commonwealth of Virginia breaks grand larceny down into three categories. If convicted of grand larceny, you will likely face jail time and hefty fines.

These are serious charges that can have life-altering implications. If you or a loved one are charged with larceny, you should contact an attorney immediately.

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