Hanover Embezzlement Lawyer

Embezzlement is a theft crime that involves the element of trust, but it can also involve instances of misunderstanding. Anyone in Hanover who is facing embezzlement charges needs to take the charges seriously because they can have a tremendous effect on future prospects for employment, housing, and other aspects of life. And, of course, the criminal penalties can be severe as well.

A Hanover embezzlement lawyer could help. When you work with a criminal defense lawyer who understands how local courts handle embezzlement cases, your attorney could devise the right defensive strategy to help reach a positive outcome.

An Overview of Embezzlement

Embezzlement is similar to theft in that it involves appropriating the property of another person for personal gain. However, where other theft crimes such as larceny occur when someone takes property without permission, in cases of embezzlement, the person taking the property is already legally entitled to hold it and, in some cases, exercise control over it.

This is where misunderstanding may come into play. Someone entrusted with money or other valuable property may take action they believe is authorized with respect to that money, while others watching may believe that the money is being appropriated for personal use. A charge of embezzlement may result where it is not warranted. A Hanover embezzlement lawyer could analyze the facts and circumstances of your case to determine if misunderstanding is a valid defense.

Elements Necessary to Prove Embezzlement

To prove embezzlement under Va. Code Ann. §18.2-111, prosecutors will need to show that the person accused:

  • Disposed, concealed, or embezzled money or other personal property of value
  • The property belonged to another such as an employer
  • The property was held for another in trust
  • The disposal, concealment or embezzlement was committed “wrongfully and fraudulently”

If someone embezzles funds or other property on several occasions over a six-month period, the actions may be treated as one crime and the amount of property taken over that time period is added together. Since embezzlement is penalized based on the value of the property taken, this consolidation often increases the severity of the offense.

How Embezzlement is Penalized

When the elements of embezzlement are proven against someone, the crime will be charged as larceny. The value of the property at issue determines whether the offense is penalized as for grand larceny or petit larceny. If the property is worth less than $500, then the crime is considered petit larceny, which is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Those convicted may be imprisoned for up to one year and required to pay a fine of up to $2,500.

If the property is worth more than $500, then the offense is treated as grand larceny, which is a felony with a maximum prison sentence of 20 years under Va. Code Ann. §18.2-95. Prior convictions can also increase the sentence for embezzlement or other larceny crimes.

If someone was convicted of a larceny offense in any jurisdiction previously, a minimum jail term applies. Moreover, if that person has two prior convictions, the theft offense is treated as a Class 6 felony even if the amount involved is less than $500 under Va. Code Ann. §18.2-104.

Work with a Knowledgeable Hanover Embezzlement Attorney Today

There are defenses that can be raised in embezzlement cases, but to increase the opportunities for success, it is wise to begin working with an experienced Hanover embezzlement lawyer as soon as possible. An attorney could begin collecting evidence right away to support defensive arguments.

Moreover, your attorney could explain your options, provide advice, and represent you at all stages of the proceedings. For a free consultation to learn how an embezzlement attorney could help in your situation, call now.