Consequences You Face If You’re Charged With Embezzlement in Virginia
The criminal defense lawyers at The Wilson Law Firm understand the potentially life-altering consequences of Virginia embezzlement charges. Our experienced Manassas criminal defense lawyers can vigorously defend you so that you achieve the best outcome you can in your criminal case.
What is Embezzlement in Virginia?
Embezzlement is a larceny crime in Virginia. Under Virginia Code § 18.2-111, this unlawful act is committed when an individual takes or misappropriates property or funds entrusted to them in an employment or other fiduciary relationship. To be convicted of this offense, an accused must wrongfully use, dispose of, conceal, or embezzle the personal property or money of someone that they received through their job or by virtue of their office, company, or corporation.
The property embezzled can be anything of value, such as money, checks, company property, or computer data. There are many ways someone can commit this crime. Examples of embezzlement include:
- A bank teller keeps part of a customer’s deposit.
- A sales clerk pockets money when completing a customer’s sale.
- An employee takes office supplies or other property of their employer.
- An accountant falsifies an employer’s records to steal money or property from them.
Penalties for Embezzlement in Virginia
Our experienced Manassas criminal lawyers may be able to raise defenses to the embezzlement charges you face—even if you’re guilty—which could result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.
However, you need to understand the punishments you could face if convicted of this crime so you can make the best decisions in your criminal case. In the Commonwealth, embezzlement charges are categorized depending on the value of the stolen property or funds.
- If the stolen property or funds are valued at less than $1,000, it’s typically charged as a misdemeanor.
- When the stolen property or funds are valued at $1,000 or more, it becomes a felony.
If the value of the assets taken is less than $1,000, the crime would be a Class 1 misdemeanor. You could be sentenced to a jail sentence of up to 12 months or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both. You could also be ordered to pay restitution to the victim.
If your embezzlement charge is elevated to a felony due to the stolen property or funds being valued at $1,000 or more, you would be charged with a Class U felony. If convicted, your punishment can include a prison sentence of up to 20 years, a maximum fine of $2,500, and restitution to the victim.
In both cases, you would have a permanent criminal record if found guilty of embezzlement as a misdemeanor or felony. You would also most likely lose your job and experience the long-term consequences of having a criminal record that could significantly impact your ability to obtain future employment, housing, and much more.
Our dedicated criminal defense attorneys will work hard to minimize your punishments and the ramifications of a criminal conviction.