An Embezzlement Lawyer Fairfax, VA Explains the Charge of Embezzlement and Fraud
In our experience, most people charged with Embezzlement are people who NEVER thought they would ever be charged with a crime and need to hire an Embezzlement lawyer Fairfax, VA.
Note: Our lawyers practice in Fairfax, and all other counties of Virginia. We have offices in Fairfax, Arlington, and Staunton. We reference Fairfax, Va. in this article because it is the largest jurisdiction in Virginia with the most rigid procedures. Work done to Fairfax standards meets or exceeds the standards in every other jurisdiction in the Commonwealth, so it is common to use it as a benchmark.
Some typical stories from our clients include:
- A Defendant worked at a company and used company funds to pay for personal items – something others in the firm did it all the time.
- The partners all agreed that it was o.k. to use company funds for personal items. Then, suddenly, one of the partners changed his mind about that, and called the police alleging that the Defendant was using company funds for his own personal benefit.
- A Defendant borrowed money from his company knowing that in a month he would pay it back. But then he fell on hard times and could not pay it back.
- Sometimes people get crosswise with their boss and the next thing they know, they are accused of embezzlement or fraud for just doing their job the same way they have done it for years.
When things like this happen, our clients, who have never broken the law before and never thought they would ever be charged with a crime, find that, for the first time ever, they are calling an Embezzlement lawyer Fairfax, VA.
To prove Embezzlement, the prosecutor must prove (1) that the defendant wrongfully and fraudulently took property; (2) that the property had been received by the defendant by virtue of his employment; and (3) that the value of the property was $200.00 or more. The maximum punishment is up to 20 years in prison. If the value of the property is below $200.00, the crime is a misdemeanor and the maximum punishment is up to 12 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.00. An embezzlement lawyer Fairfax, VA makes the prosecutor prove the case by making sure that every element above can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. In addition, a good embezzlement lawyer Fairfax, VA will bring arguments to the Court to show that what the police are saying is not true, or, that there are reasonable explanations for it.
Typically, it is extremely difficult to get a prison for property crimes (e.g. larceny). This is because, when the General Assembly eliminated parole in 1994, it established guidelines to keep people out of prison for property crimes. That way the State would have prison space for violent crime convicts. However, a good embezzlement lawyer Fairfax, VA will tell you that this is not necessarily the case with embezzlement. Prosecutors often seek jail or prison when a defendant embezzles money from a person who entrusted him with their money (e.g. an employee embezzles from his employer, a deacon at a church embezzles from the church, or someone who volunteers to do the books for a charity takes money from that charity). Especially in these situations, you would want an experienced embezzlement attorney. This is because not only is one looking at a felony, he could go to prison.
In many embezzlement cases, there will be an opportunity to “settle” this without a charge being placed. If clients get to an embezzlement lawyer Fairfax, VA prior to being served with charges, often a deal can be made with the complaining witness (e.g. employer, charity, etc.) which would not involve a crime even being filed.