Richmond Theft Defense Lawyer

Cody Villalon has good news if you live in the Richmond, VA, area and you have been charged with a crime. If you’ve been arrested for theft, you don’t have to face the criminal justice system alone. Our theft defense attorney will fight for your rights.

Richmond lawyer for theft charges Cody Villalon has over a decade of experience representing people accused of all types of theft, fighting for the rights of each client in a court of law. He understands the laws surrounding theft charges, knows the local prosecutors, and can skillfully guide you through the system.

Cody Villalon explores all options for your defense, whether negotiating a lesser charge or defending you before a jury.

Call our team today at 804.316.0765 to get the help you need when you’re facing theft charges.

Our Richmond Theft Defense Lawyer Fights for Your Rights

Have you been arrested and now find yourself facing a theft charge in Virginia? Any theft charge, from shoplifting to burglary, robbery, or grand theft, could bring serious consequences, including fines, restitution, and jail time.

A theft conviction can seriously hamper your chances of being considered for jobs in many sectors, such as retail, accounting, or banking. You’ll also have a criminal record that could impact your opportunities for education, housing, and even social relationships.

With penalties this serious, you shouldn’t try to fight the theft charge yourself. Instead, choose an experienced attorney for theft arrests to help fight for your rights and protect your freedom.

Why Call Cody Villalon?

As a solo Richmond theft defense lawyer, Cody genuinely cares about his clients and works closely with each one, using a hands-on approach to the case. You’ll never be handed off to another lawyer; instead, you’ll benefit from working with a theft defense lawyer you know and trust.

Cody believes that everyone charged with a crime deserves to have their rights protected and is entitled to a skilled defense. He will be right beside you throughout the proceedings, answering your questions, addressing your concerns, and fighting hard to have your theft charges reduced or dismissed entirely.

Cody Villalon offers a free consultation for your case. Call today at 804.316.0765 and take the first step toward defending your rights.

How Your Theft Defense Lawyer Can Help You

Virginia theft laws can be quite strict. Some types of theft, such as shoplifting or theft from another person of less than $1,000, are misdemeanors called petit larceny.

Other types of theft are felonies, which may lead to jail or prison. These can include:

  • Grand larceny – theft of money or property valued at over $1,000, or theft directly from another person of more than a $5 value
  • Felony grand larceny – concealing or shoplifting goods valued at more than $1,000
  • Felony embezzlement – theft from your employer in excess of $200
  • Breaking and entering – any type of break-in to a home or business
  • Felony fraud – any type of fraud of more than $500.

Having a shoplifting defense lawyer represent you may make a difference in whether you’re convicted of petit larceny or grand larceny.

The threshold for theft to be considered a felony is relatively low. In some cases, just a few hundred dollars of property or monetary value make the difference between a fine and years in prison.

Felony penalties can be up to 20 years in jail, and you may receive a sentence like that if your theft was even as little as $501, in some cases! Having a Richmond theft defense attorney on your side can help you avoid the most severe penalties.

What Our Theft Defense Lawyer Will Do for You

When you have Cody Villalon on your side, he will:

  • Hear your side of what happened to understand the circumstances
  • Examine all of the evidence to determine how to plan your defense
  • Look for any violations of legal procedures or of your rights by police or prosecution
  • Carefully examine the police reports to see if there were errors
  • Prepare you beforehand for all court appearances so that you’ll understand what to expect
  • Advise you against doing or saying anything that will harm your case
  • File all forms and document requests promptly
  • Make sure all terms of court appearances are met
  • Negotiate and plea bargain with prosecutors for a lesser charge
  • Craft a solid defense and take your case to trial if necessary.

As an experienced attorney for theft arrest, Cody Villalon understands your rights under the law. This includes your right to remain silent during police questioning or in court and your right to have an attorney present when police want to ask you questions.

No matter what theft charge you are facing, you have the right to refuse to say anything incriminating. You also have the right to confront any witnesses against you and to have a public and speedy jury trial if you so choose. You’re also entitled to representation from a lawyer for theft charges.

Cody fights aggressively to make sure that all of these rights are upheld. Call 804.316.0765 to discuss your case and what he can do for you.

FAQs About Theft Charges

Our Richmond Theft Charges Lawyer Answers Common Questions

Should I ask for a plea deal in my theft case?

Whether you should ask for a deal depends on the circumstance of your case. Before we advise you to agree to a plea deal, we’ll evaluate your entire case and your rights and then tell you whether it’s a good idea.

How can I get my theft case dropped?

Not every theft case may get dropped, although this is usually our first option for your defense. If there was a mistake by police or prosecution, if your rights were violated, or if the Commonwealth of Virginia can’t prove the charges, then your case may be dropped.

What happens after I’m arrested for theft?

A preliminary hearing or an arraignment is often the first thing that happens. In this step, you appear in court to learn what charges you face and the penalties of each. At this point, if you haven’t hired a shoplifting defense lawyer, then you’ll have the opportunity to do so. 

Next is the second hearing, in which a prosecutor may offer the best deal they think you’ll get without hearing all of the evidence about your case. If you don’t take the offer, the case proceeds to trial. At any point before the jury delivers a verdict, you may be able to negotiate a plea deal.

What happens if I was a scapegoat for theft?

There may be mitigating circumstances in your case. For example, if someone embezzled from your company, but you were blamed because you had some responsibility for company finances, you could be charged with theft. Or, perhaps you were in a desperate situation and behaved in a manner you normally wouldn’t. 

Your personal circumstances are part of the consideration Cody Villalon takes into account when crafting your defense.

Can I just pay back what I stole and go free?

Oftentimes, no. While restitution (paying the theft back) may be part of your sentence, simply returning what you stole won’t cancel out your theft charges.

Our Richmond Theft Defense Attorney Explains Virginia Theft Laws and Charges

Different types of theft may have different penalties. Your Richmond theft defense lawyer will explain whether your crime was a misdemeanor or a felony. An experienced attorney for theft arrests may be able to have your charge reduced to a lesser felony class or from a felony to a misdemeanor.


Larceny is defined as the unauthorized taking of items or money from the owner without the owner’s consent and with the intent to deprive the owner of the money or property permanently.

Virginia differentiates larceny into two categories based on the dollar amount of the property. It also has a separate classification for the nature of the property stolen. For example, most livestock or animal theft is a Class 5 felony.

Larceny is divided into grand larceny, which is theft of money or property of more than $5 from someone’s person, theft of personal property worth more than $200, or theft of any firearm, regardless of its value. Petit larceny is the theft of money or property from someone’s person worth less than $5 or personal property theft of less than $200.

Punishment for grand larceny may include up to 20 years in prison, 12 months in jail, or a fine of up to $2,500. You may also be asked to make restitution, which means paying back the value of what you stole.

Petit larceny is considered to be a Class 1 misdemeanor, which means the maximum consequences include up to 12 months in jail and a fine of not more than $2,500.

Concealment and Shoplifting

Concealment is treated similarly to shoplifting in Virginia. Just concealing merchandise on the store’s premises is considered evidence that you intend to take it. That’s why having a shoplifting defense lawyer handle your case is helpful.

Shoplifting and concealment may include any of the following:

  • Willful concealment or taking possession of goods
  • Price marking, such as altering a price tag
  • Helping another person with the concealment of merchandise
  • Helping another person pay less than the marked price of an item.

If the merchandise is worth less than $500, it’s considered petit larceny; if the merchandise is worth more than $500, it’s considered grand larceny.

Breaking and Entering

The Commonwealth of Virginia defines breaking and entering, also known as “statutory burglary,” as the act of illicitly entering someone else’s home to commit a crime.

The type of crime the person intends to commit often indicates the felony classification. For example, statutory burglary with the intent to rob someone is considered to be a Class 3 felony, which could have penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000.

However, entering a home with the intent to commit larceny, which means taking items but not taking them from a person, is a lesser felony charge. This may bring a punishment of 1–20 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

If you’re armed while breaking and entering, the crime is automatically considered to be a Class 2 felony, with a prison term of 20 years to life.

Breaking and entering is rarely considered to be a misdemeanor. However, sometimes the judge assigned to your case may determine that you committed a misdemeanor if your intent was a nonviolent crime, like larceny or trespassing, and if you were unarmed during the commission of the act.

To ensure your rights are protected and you have the best potential for a lower fine or less jail time, call our theft defense lawyer for help.


Criminal fraud in Virginia covers many different types of cases. According to Virginia law, types of criminal fraud include:

  • Forgery
  • Insurance fraud
  • Workers’ comp fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Healthcare fraud
  • Real estate fraud
  • Bad checks
  • Money laundering
  • Counterfeiting
  • Impersonating a police officer
  • Identity theft
  • False pretenses.

Fraud is defined as willful deception in order to obtain money or property from another party (a person, business, government, etc.). It may include false statements, deliberately misleading others to gain access to items or money, or changing records like health status, income records, or even your timesheet for work.

The penalties for fraud depend on the extent of the fraud, the value of anything stolen, and even your criminal record. Misdemeanor fraud can result in up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500, while felony fraud can lead to up to 10 years in prison.

Defrauding the government is always considered to be a Class 6 felony. In general, fraud involving a value of less than $500 is viewed as a misdemeanor, while fraud of more than $500 is considered to be a Class 6 felony.


Embezzlement is the fraudulent and wrongful use, concealment, or disposal of money (including checks, bills, receipts, or credit cards) that the individual received on behalf of another based on that individual’s position of trust, manner of job, or office.

Oftentimes, embezzlement involves employee theft or theft by an individual responsible for handling property or money.

How to Fight a Theft Charge in Virginia

Defense Strategies We Use to Fight Charges

Depending on your circumstances, our theft defense lawyer may use one, several, or all of the following strategies to protect your rights and mitigate your charges:

  • Arguing that there is a lack of evidence
  • Noting that you didn’t have the items or money in your possession at the time of your arrest
  • Pointing out police errors
  • Arguing that there was a lack of suspicion or probable cause
  • Noting that there were extenuating circumstances.

To learn more about the strategies that may be effective in fighting your charges, schedule a consultation.

Call Cody Villalon, an Experienced Richmond Theft Defense Lawyer

Don’t risk your future by not hiring a lawyer for theft charges to defend your rights. Cody Villalon understands your rights under the law and fights on your behalf.

Time is of the essence when you’ve been arrested. It’s crucial to have a Richmond theft defense attorney helping you right away. Call 804.316.0765 for a free consultation for your case.

Client Testimonial

”Probably the best lawyer in Chesterfield and Henrico! He will go the extra mile with every aspect of any criminal case! Always answers or returns calls same business day! I’ll never hire anybody else for my cases. He really shines in a courtroom and you can feel his presence, judges know him on a first name basis too. Thanks, Cody!” – Sean Truslow (Google Review)

    Free Consultation

    I offer free confidential consultations and am available in Richmond and all surrounding counties. I am willing to make jail visits as well.