Prince William County Embezzlement Lawyer
Embezzlement is a common white-collar crime under state law. These crimes are non-violent and involve transactions designed to result in personal gain. Although embezzlement is not a crime that results in bodily harm, it can cause financial devastation – particularly in small businesses. As a result, prosecutors take embezzlement charges seriously, especially when large sums of money are involved.
Enlisting the help of a trustworthy attorney might be vital to building a strong defense in your case. A Prince William County embezzlement lawyer could examine the evidence in your case and determine your best course of action in response to criminal charges.
Embezzlement and Larceny Under State Law
Under Virginia Code Ann. §18.2-111, embezzlement is a form of larceny. The distinguishing factor between embezzlement and a regular theft offense is that the accused person had legal possession of the property stolen at the time of the offense. In other words, the property owner had delivered or entrusted the property to the accused person as a result of their employment, office, or similar function.
Embezzlement always involves some relationship of trust between the accused persons and their employer, clients, or others who have allowed them to take possession of their property. For instance, employees at a retail store who run cash registers have the permission of the store owner to handle money that customers pay for merchandise. If these employees steal money from the cash register to use for their own purposes, they are committing embezzlement.
Some other common examples of embezzlement include:
- Bank tellers who keep money instead of depositing into a customer’s account
- Payroll workers who withhold taxes from the paychecks of employees and fail to pay the taxes to the state or federal government
- Financial advisors who invest client funds without permission
- Accountants who falsify records to take money from a business
All of these scenarios might result in embezzlement charges under state law. In addition to incarceration, fines, and restitution, individuals convicted of this offense would face the stigma of a felony conviction on their backgrounds. Since the consequences of a larceny conviction can be harsh, individuals who are facing these charges should consult an embezzlement lawyer in the area for advice.
Penalties for Embezzlement in Prince William County
Under Virginia law, embezzlement carries the same penalties as theft. Larceny offenses are classified as either grand or petit, depending on the value of the funds or property involved in the offense. As a result, embezzlement constitutes grand larceny under Virginia Code Ann. §18.2-95 if it involves property worth $1,000 or more. A conviction for grand larceny can result in a prison sentence ranging from one to 20 years, a $2,500 fine, or both.
If the property or funds embezzled is worth less than $1,000, the offense is petit larceny, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor under state law. Someone convicted of petit larceny may face up to 12 months in jail, a $2,500 fine, or both. A local embezzlement lawyer could try to reduce someone’s sentence to just probation for the crime of petit or grand larceny.
Call a Prince William County Embezzlement Attorney for Advice
When you are charged with embezzlement or other white-collar crimes, you could face severe consequences. An embezzlement conviction can be devastating for your professional life if you are no longer able to work in your previous industry. Additionally, embezzlement prosecutions can be complex and involve a substantial amount of documentary evidence.
Contacting a Prince William County embezzlement lawyer in this situation may be highly advantageous. Speak to an attorney today to get the legal assistance that you need.