In Fairfax County, embezzlement is considered a serious theft crime. Cases of embezzlement differ from simple grand larceny and other theft crimes because embezzlement is charged in situations where the victim and perpetrator had a relationship of trust. One of the most common examples of embezzlement we see in our offices is where an individual working at a retail store takes gift cards, pays themselves more than they have earned, or otherwise uses their position at the business to steal something of value. To clarify, it is the nature of the relationship between the people involved that separates this crime from simple grand larceny or other theft crimes. Because embezzlement is such a serious crime, if you have been charged it is in your best interest to work with a Fairfax criminal defense attorney. Don’t hesitate to contact the team at S&R Law Firm if you are in need of help.

Penalties for Embezzlement

Embezzlement crimes are punished exactly the same as larceny, so where the value is less than $200, punishment maximum is 1 year in jail and $2500 (the same as petit larceny). Where the value of what is taken is more than $200, the punishment is the same as Grand Larceny, which means the punishment can be up to 20 years in prison.

It is important to note that while the laws describe the same punishment, judges and juries often punish this crime more severely than simple larceny because of the nature of the crime. Each case is different, but where a person steals from the company they work for or a trusted friend, it is often considered a more egregious offense than simple shoplifting or other theft crimes. Because of this, it is typically not a good idea to go to court alone. A Fairfax criminal defense attorney can often help you receive a lesser punishment than what you could achieve on your own. Even if you’re unsure whether or not a lawyer can help, getting a free consultation on your case is worth it. A lawyer can assist you in better understanding your rights, give you a sense of the outcome you may be able to expect in court, and tell you what type of defense they would use in your situation.

Proving Embezzlement

Many of the same proof requirements that exist with larceny are present in embezzlement cases as well, so the prosecutor must prove that the person charged actually intended to permanently take something, and that the something had value. The nature of the relationship must be established as a fundamental element as well; so it must be proven that the person charged only had access to the money or property because they were an employee or had some other special type of business relationship. A boss or company owner may be guilty of this offense as well, however; bosses have been found guilty of embezzlement for keeping tax refunds, salary, or other money owed to employees. Embezzlement cases can be incredibly complicated, so seeking legal help can have a serious impact on your case and thus on your future.

Get Help From S&R Law Firm

If you are charged in Virginia with Grand Larceny, False Pretenses or Embezzlement, a good defense can make all the difference in the world. Financial crime charges require a very specific and strategic defense and working with a lawyer who specializes in this type of practice is a must. At S&R Law Firm, we have years of experience helping Fairfax residents in cases of embezzlements. Get in touch with our Fairfax criminal defense lawyers for a free consultation of your case today at 703.273.6431.

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