Single Larceny Doctrine Virginia
In Acey v. Commonwealth, 29 Va. App. 240, 247, 511 S.E.2d 429, 432 (1999), the Court explained the application of the "single larceny doctrine" as follows:
A series of larcenous acts will be considered a single count of larceny if they "are done pursuant to a single impulse and in execution of a general fraudulent scheme."
The Court must consider the following factors when deciding whether the single larceny doctrine applies:
(1) the location of the items taken;
(2) the lapse of time between the takings;
(3) the general and specific intent of the taker;
(4) the number of owners of the items taken;
(5) whether intervening events occurred between the takings.
"The primary factor to be considered is the intent of the thief . . . ." Id. at 247, 511 S.E.2d at 432.
Nevertheless, multiple unlawful takings constitute separate larcenies if the thief acted upon a separate intent or impulse for each theft. See Richardson v. Commonwealth, 25 Va. App. 491, 495, 489 S.E.2d 697, 699 (1997) at 700-01.
"The overriding principle behind the single larceny doctrine is to prevent the state from aggregating multiple criminal penalties for a single criminal act." Richardson, 25 Va. App. at 496, 489 S.E.2d at 700.