Virginia Grand Larceny Laws

This article covers the definition of grand larceny in Virginia and the potential consequences of a conviction.

Last updated on September 19th, 2018

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 cost of the items stolen.

In this article, we’ll be exploring grand larceny, 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. The code also makes a distinction between compound (violent) and simple (non-violent) larceny:

Compound Larceny

The first definition of grand larceny is any person who commits larceny of another’s “person.” Virginia considers any case of larceny that includes the act of stealing directly from another person’s body as compound larceny. For example, mugging, pickpocketing, and cases of assault where something is stolen all count as compound larceny.

To meet the requirement for grand larceny, more than $5 in money or other items must have been stolen. Anything below this amount counts as petty larceny. Generally, courts pair compound larceny with other charges related to the case, such as assault and battery or firearm charges.

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 any act of larceny not performed against another’s “person.”

For example, shoplifting an item worth more than $500 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

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 a 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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