Alexandria Embezzlement Lawyer

White collar crimes are typically nonviolent crimes that are motivated by pecuniary, or financial gain. In the United States, white collar crimes, such as embezzlement, bribery, and tax fraud, are pursued vigorously by prosecutors and other members of law enforcement. The government wants to send a message to white-collar defendants that these types of crimes will bring about penalties similar to violent crimes, including significant fines and jail time.

If you have been accused of embezzling funds, contact an Alexandria embezzlement lawyer to help make sense of the charges and begin preparing for trial. Speak with a qualified fraud attorney that can fight for you.

Embezzlement Laws of Virginia

Under Virginia state law, embezzlement is defined as the taking of money or other property of value that someone has entrusted to another. Common examples of embezzlement include:

  • Failing to give customers the appropriate money from a transaction
  • Transferring funds from a business account to a personal account
  • Refunding stolen items
  • Submitting phony invoices
  • A cashier wrongfully taking money from a till
  • Using company credit cards or accounts for personal use

To prove embezzlement in Virginia under criminal code §18.2-111, a prosecutor must prove that the defendant was entrusted to the property or money and that the defendant concealed, converted, used, or deprived the rightful owner of the benefit of the property or money. If the value of the money or property taken exceeds $200, the defendant may be guilty of a felony. An Alexandria embezzlement lawyer can work with a defendant to build their defense.

If the money or property falls below the $200 threshold, that individual may be guilty of a misdemeanor. The difference between a misdemeanor and felony conviction is noteworthy because a felony typically involves jail sentences that exceed one year. Also, employers and other individuals that perform a criminal background search on a convicted criminal may be more forgiving of a misdemeanor conviction than a felony, which is usually reserved for more serious offenses.

Possible Defenses

The burden of proof in criminal cases remains beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that the prosecutor has to meet this burden in order to sustain their case in a court of law. In addition to having to satisfy this burden, the prosecutor also has to deal with a number of possible defenses that a defendant may raise, which could lead to an acquittal. The following examples are defenses to embezzlement claims, but are only available depending upon the circumstances surrounding the specific offense:

  • Negating an element of the charge – the embezzlement charge requires both that the prosecutor prove that the defendant was entrusted to the property or money and that there was a taking. Failure to prove either of these charges could assist in the defense of a criminal matter
  • Bona fide claim of ownership – if the defendant had a good faith belief that the money or property appropriated was actually theirs, this might be a defense to an embezzlement charge
  • Inadequate financial controls – a criminal defendant cannot be responsible for accounting errors made by an employer. This is a defense that might be used when an employer is missing money or property and cannot determine why, so the employer blames the employee or defendant

Talk to an Alexandria Embezzlement Attorney Today

If you have questions or concerns about your criminal case, this is normal. To combat the anxiety you feel about the criminal charges against you, start to educate yourself about the law and contact an Alexandria embezzlement lawyer to assist you with preparing your case. Having the right attorney by your side could result in a difference that changes your life.