Fighting for Not Guilty Verdicts & Case Dismissals
Have you recently been charged with embezzlement? As a serious white-collar theft crime, you need to know that an embezzlement conviction will carry just as serious penalties. With a judge’s or jury’s single decision, you could lose your reputation, career, business, finances, and freedom.
A well-constructed defense can help mitigate or entirely avoid some of the worst penalties that can follow an embezzlement charge, though. Speak with our Richmond embezzlement attorneys from Portner & Shure, P.A. today. Your freedom is at stake, so any delay could jeopardize the strength of your defense.
Dial (804) 724-5080 or contact us online as soon as you can!
Virginia Embezzlement Laws
Virginia Code § 18.2-111 defines embezzlement as the taking of another person’s property by an individual who was entrusted with the property. Embezzlement is a form of theft, but it differs from what most people assumed theft to be in that embezzlement requires a fiduciary relationship between the victim and the accused. Specifically, the accused must have received the property with the owner’s consent prior to the crime.
The three key elements of embezzlement are:
- Party A receives property from Party B, typically due to their employment
- Property must be worth at least $200
- Party A wrongfully or fraudulently takes or keeps the property
Embezzlement can take many forms. One of the most common forms of embezzlement is when an employee steals a significant sum from a cash register or safe. However, the most severe embezzlement charges and the most intense cases usually involve an executive misusing or stealing company funds for their own personal gain.
Penalties for Embezzling in Virginia
The value of the property embezzled will determine the potential penalties you face when charged with embezzlement in Virginia.
The penalties can be sorted accordingly:
- Property worth less than $500: Misdemeanor that carries a potential penalty of 12 months in jail and/or a fine of $2,500.
- Property worth more than $500: Felony that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or a fine of $2,500.
Additionally, convictions for either a misdemeanor or felony charge of embezzlement also carry restitution requirements. If a court orders you to pay restitution, then you must give finances to your accusers that are separate from money paid to the state.
Defenses to Embezzlement Charges & Accusations
How can it be proven that you stole the property related to your embezzlement charges? As your Richmond embezzlement attorneys, it is our job to make it difficult for the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. For example, it could be argued that you were using the property with the intent to return it, which is not technically theft.
In some embezzlement cases, the right defense strategy argues that there was no fiduciary duty between the accused and the accuser. As such, the embezzlement charge can be reduced to a lower degree of theft crime with weaker penalties. Or the charges could be dismissed entirely because the prosecution has not made a convincing claim to prove the new charges.
Call a Team with 25+ Years of Experience
If you are charged with embezzlement, you deserve a knowledgeable attorney by your side. Our Richmond embezzlement defense lawyers can thoroughly review the evidence, identify possible defenses, and vigorously fight on your behalf, no matter what the prosecution is trying to say about you. This is what we have been doing for more than 25 years, and our reputation for legal excellence has only grown year after year.
Our staff speaks several languages, allowing us to represent clients from Virginia’s Latinx, Hispanic, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) communities.
To schedule a free consultation regarding your embezzlement case, contact us at (804) 724-5080 or send an email.
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