The criminal charge of Embezzlement is contained in §18.2-111 of the Virginia Code. Embezzlement is the wrongful taking, concealment or fraudulent use of money, personal property or goods of another. The items must be taken by one in a position of trust or fiduciary duty. Typical examples include money taken by an employee of a corporation, or funds converted from a bailor. As with any criminal charge, the government bears the burden to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The government must demonstrate that the defendant had the requisite intent, or mens rea, to deprive the owner of the property.Virginia Embezzlement Laws
The criminal charge of Embezzlement is punished the same in Virginia as Grand Larceny or Petty Larceny. Generally, if the amount alleged to be stolen is less than $200, the offense is deemed to be misdemeanor petty larceny under §18.2-96. Any amount $200 or more is considered felony Grand Larceny under §18.2-95.Virginia Grand Larceny Laws
Grand Larceny is punishable by imprisonment in a state correctional facility for a minimum of one year up to a maximum of twenty years. However, a jury or court trying the case without a jury, may impose confinement in jail for a period not exceeding twelve months, and/or a fine of not more than $2,500.00. Petit Larceny is classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor. It is punishable by confinement in jail for zero to twelve months, and/or a fine of up to $2,500.00.Fairfax Criminal Defense Lawyer
Attorney Yeargan aggressively defends those charged with Embezzlement and other crimes. Embezzlement is a crime of moral turpitude involving lying, cheating, and stealing. A conviction for this crime may impact security clearances, current and future employment opportunities, and immigration status. If an immigrant is convicted of this offense, he or she may be removed from the country under certain conditions. To protect their immigrant visa and immigration status, an individual charged with Embezzlement needs to have skilled and experienced counsel.
Often, clients charged with this offense may be able to get it dismissed for lack of proof. The prosecution must prove every element of the statute to obtain a conviction. If the case is weak and there is insufficient proof, the law office may be able to get it dismissed or amended to a much lesser offense, such as Trespass or Disorderly Conduct. These misdemeanors are not considered crimes of moral turpitude and do not generally impact someone’s immigration status. Convictions for these lesser misdemeanors also reduce the likelihood of problems arising with employment applications and security clearances.
In addition, if the felony embezzlement is reduced to Trespass or Disorderly Conduct, the original arrest for the felony charge may be expunged from the person’s criminal record. Trespass and Disorderly Conduct are not considered Lesser Included Offenses of the Embezzlement charge. Under Virginia law and the Commonwealth of Virginia v. Dressner opinion, the client is eligible for expungement (removal) of the original arrest for Embezzlement.
These types of charges are complex and require experienced representation. Contact the law office immediately if you are charged with this offense. Attorney Yeargan will work closely with you to evaluate the facts of the case and develop a successful strategy for your defense.
The Law Office of Wilfred W. Yeargan appears in the courts of Alexandria, Arlington, Caroline County, Fairfax City and County, Falls Church, the City of Fredericksburg, Herndon, Loudoun County, the Northern Neck area of Westmoreland and Northumberland counties, Prince William County, Stafford County, Spotsylvania, the Town of Vienna and Winchester. Attorney Yeargan also serves the Richmond, Virginia area including Henrico County and Chesterfield County.