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Richmond VA Lawyer Larceny Embezzlement Lawyer Sara Gaborik

FOR VIRGINIA LARCENY OR EMBEZZLEMENT CHARGES, YOU NEED AN EFFECTIVE CRIMINAL LAWYER 

June 14th 2014

By Sara Gaborik

Do you need a Richmond VA Lawyer Larceny Embezzlement Lawyer? You do if you are facing Virginia larceny or embezzlement charges, you have a life-altering fight on your hands. Not all Richmond criminal lawyers handle such cases. Sara Gaborik works with these cases regularly and offers the experience, aggressive advocacy, skills, and knowledge you need to resolve these charges as favorably as possible. Ms. Gaborik represents clients in Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, Essex, Prince George, and the surrounding areas.

Virginia classifies many different acts as larceny and the penalties vary with those classifications. Depending on the circumstances of your case, an experienced attorney may be able to negotiate a more favorable outcome by getting a defendant’s charges reduced to a lower classification with lesser penalties. Call Sara Gaborik for a consultation at (804) 334-4351 or (804) 780-3080.

VIRGINIA LARCENY LAWS CARRY LOW THRESHOLDS AND HARSH PENALTIES

The Virginia Code differentiates between and among various types of larceny. The penalties are harsh with a very low threshold for enhancing charges from misdemeanors to felonies.

Grand Larceny in Virginia 

Under Virginia Code § 18.2-95, the crime of grand larceny includes taking money or anything valued at $5 or more from a person, taking something worth $200 or more without the other person involved, or taking a firearm of any value without another person involved. Grand larceny carries several penalties including jail time of up to twenty years and/or a fine of up to $2,500.

Petit Larceny in Virginia 

Virginia Code § 18.2-96 establishes the crime of petit larceny for taking something worth less than $5 from another person, or taking something worth less than $200 without the other person involved, except for a firearm. Petit larceny is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to twelve months in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Thought not mandatory, some judges regularly impose jail time, even on a first petit larceny offense with no prior record. Some judges may be willing to dismiss a petit larceny charge if the defendant completes community service, probation, pays restitution, and/or completes a larceny prevention class. Hiring a criminal lawyer like Sara Gaborik, who knows which judges will permit such conditional dismissal, can be a tremendous advantage for a defendant.

SUBSEQUENT OFFENSES MEAN MANDATORY JAIL TIME AND ADDITIONAL FINES

Under Virginia Code § 18.2-104, if you have previously been convicted of either misdemeanor or felony larceny, conviction for a second offense carries up to twelve months in jail, thirty days of which is mandatory, and a $2,500 fine.  A third or subsequent offense will be charged as a Class 6 felony and carries up to five years in jail and a $2,500 fine.  

VIRGINIA HARSHLY PENALIZES THOSE WHO RECEIVE STOLEN GOODS, ESPECIALLY FIREARMS

Receiving stolen goods is also considered larceny under Virginia Code § 18.2-108. If you have knowingly accepted stolen goods, you can be found guilty of larceny, even if the person who actually took the item(s) is not convicted.

If you buy or receive a firearm that you know was stolen, or if you help conceal such a firearm, you can be convicted of a Class 6 felony under Virginia Code § 18.2-108.1. As is the case with receiving stolen goods, you can be found guilty even if the person who stole the item is not convicted.

LARCENY WITH INTENT TO SELL OR DISTRIBUTE IS PUNISHABLE BY EXTENSIVE JAIL TIME 

Virginia Code § 18.2-108.01 makes larceny of property worth $200 or more, with intent to sell or distribute it, a felony punishable by at least two years and up to twenty years in jail. Larceny of two or more of the same item establishes prima facie evidence of a defendant’s intent to sell or distribute the items.

One who sells, attempts to sell, or possesses with intent to sell or distribute property totaling $200 or more in value faces a Class 5 felony if he or she knew or should have known the property was stolen. The ‘should have known’ standard can be particularly harsh because, as the old saying goes, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. So if you were offered a nice vehicle for a fraction of its true value and buy it, and that vehicle was stolen, you can face charges under this section. The prosecution will argue you ‘should have known’ the vehicle was stolen, based solely on the price you paid, and push for conviction under this code section.

VIRGINIA PENALIZES LARCENY OF BANK NOTES, CHECKS, AND OTHER FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS 

Virginia Code § 18.2-98 defines as larceny the stealing of bank notes, checks, other writings or paper of value whether currency or otherwise, and any book of accounts concerning money or items due to be delivered. The penalties are based on the value of the item, classified in accordance with the grand larceny and petit larceny thresholds described above.

VIRGINIA PENALIZES HARSHLY FORGERY, WRITING BAD CHECKS, AND CREDIT CARD CRIMES

Forging Public Records in Virginia 

Virginia Code § 18.2-168 makes forging a public record or knowingly attempting to use a forged public record a Class 4 felony. Forging, knowingly using a forged writing, or attempting to do so, to prejudice another’s rights, is a Class 5 felony under Virginia Code § 18.2-172. Knowingly obtaining another’s signature under false pretenses with the intent to defraud is also a Class 5 felony.

Issuing Bad Checks in Virginia 

Virginia Code § 18.2-181 classifies issuing a bad check as larceny where the person knows the account it is written on lacks sufficient funds. Larceny won’t apply where that person has a credit arrangement to cover the amount. Issuing a bad check with the intent to defraud is a Class 1 misdemeanor for values under $200 but is a Class 6 felony for values of $200 or more. Virginia Code § 18.2-181.1 makes issuing two or more such checks within a ninety day period a Class 6 felony if the aggregate value of those checks is $200 or more, the checks are drawn upon the same account, and are made payable to the same person, firm, or corporation.

Credit Card and Credit Card Number Theft

Stealing a credit card or credit card number constitutes grand larceny under Virginia Code § 18.2-192. Theft under this section includes:

  • Taking, obtaining, or withholding a credit card or credit card number without the cardholder’s consent; or
  • Receiving a credit card or credit card number with intent to use it, sell it, or transfer it to someone other than the issuer or cardholder, knowing it has been taken, obtained or withheld without the cardholder’s consent; or
  • Receiving a credit card or credit card number, with knowledge that the card has been lost, mislaid, or delivered under mistaken cardholder identity or address, and keeping the card or number to use, sell, or transfer to someone other than the issuer or cardholder; or
  • Selling a credit card or number, unless the seller is the issuer of that card/number, or buying a credit card or number from someone other than the issuer; or
  • Receiving, during a twelve-month period, credit cards or numbers issued in the names of two or more persons where the person receiving them is not the issuer and has reason to know the cards or numbers were obtained or retained without the cardholder’s authorization.

Credit Card Forgery in Virginia

Under Virginia Code § 18.2-193, various types of credit card forgery constitute a Class 5 felony. This crime includes intent to defraud by:

  • Falsely making or embossing a purported credit card or uttering such a credit card; or
  • Signing a credit card where the signer is not the cardholder or authorized user of that card; or
  • Forging a sales draft, cash advance, withdrawal draft, or otherwise using a credit card number knowing the basis for using it is untrue.

Credit Card Fraud in Virginia 

In Virginia, credit card fraud is a Class 6 felony. Under Virginia Code § 18.2-195, someone with the intent to defraud commits credit card fraud by:

  • Using, to obtain anything of value, a credit card or number obtained or retained in violation of Virginia Code § 18.2-192 or which he/she knows is expired or revoked; or
  • Using a credit card or card number to obtain anything of value by misrepresenting that he/she is the proper holder or authorized user of either an existing card issued to another or one that has not actually been issued; or
  • Taking control of a credit card or number as security for a debt; or
  • Using a credit card to obtain money from the issuer in excess of one’s available credit balance.

Someone authorized by a credit card issuer to furnish something of value upon a cardholder’s presentation of his/her credit card or number commits credit card fraud if, with the intent to defraud, he or she:

  • Furnishes anything of value, knowing the credit card has been illegally obtained; or
  • Furnishes anything of value, knowing the credit card being used is expired or revoked; or
  • Fails to furnish to a cardholder that which he represents, to the issuer, he has furnished; or
  • Submits a charge in excess of the actual amount the cardholder has authorized for a transaction.

Credit card fraud amounting to $200 or less within a six-month period is a Class 1 misdemeanor. For more than $200 in any six-month period, credit card fraud constitutes a Class 6 felony. Further, any conspiracy to commit credit card fraud is, in and of itself, a Class 6 felony. If you are facing such charges, and experienced attorney should handle your case.

MERCHANDISE-RELATED CRIMES IN VIRGINIA

Virginia Code § 18.2-103 establishes crimes dealing with taking merchandise, altering prices, transferring goods from one container to another, counseling another in doing such things, and otherwise defrauding owners of merchandise. Someone who intends to take for himself/herself or another, without authority, anything of value, without paying the full purchase price, or who intends to defraud an owner of the value of merchandise, commits larceny by:

  • Willfully concealing or taking goods or merchandise; or
  • Altering the pricing of goods or merchandise; or
  • Transferring the goods or merchandise from one container to another; or
  • Counseling, assisting, aiding or abetting another in doing any of these things.

If the value is under $200, it will constitute petit larceny. If the value is $200 or more, it will constitute grand larceny.

The act of concealing an item on the premises of a store is enough to establish prima facie evidence of the intent to commit larceny.

IN VIRGINIA, EMBEZZLEMENT IS A FORM OF LARCENY AND CARRIES TOUGH PENALTIES

Under Virginia Code § 18.2-111, embezzlement is deemed larceny. Essentially, if you receive something of value on behalf of another because you are in a position of trust, and you wrongfully use, dispose of, or otherwise conceal or take it, you are guilty of embezzlement. This can include employee/employer, principal/bailor, or other positions of trust. The punishment will be based on the value of what is taken, as outlined in the petit larceny and grand larceny statutes.

Virginia Code § 18.2-152.8 establishes the types of property that are capable of being embezzled. These include:

  • Computers and computer networks;
  • Financial instruments, computer data, computer programs, computer software and all other personal property regardless of whether tangible, intangible, in a format readable by humans or by a computer, in transit between computers or within a computer network or between any devices which comprise a computer, or located on any paper or in any device on which it is stored by a computer or by a human; and
  • Computer services.

CONCEALMENT/MISDEMEANOR EMBEZZLEMENT IN VIRGINIA OFTEN RESULTS IN JAIL TIME

Convictions under Virginia Code sections 18.2-103 and 18.2-111 carry penalties of up to twelve months in jail and a $2,500 fine.  As is the case with other types of larceny, although these offenses do not carry mandatory jail time, some judges regularly impose it, even on a first offense with no prior record.  Other judges are willing to take the charge under advisement to be dismissed subject to the individual completing certain requirements including, but not limited to, community service, probation, payment of restitution, and/or completion of a larceny prevention class.  

CALL FOR YOUR CONSULTATION

Knowing which type of judge has your case significantly affects how an attorney should approach your defense.  Sara Gaborik has extensive experience with larceny and embezzlement cases and can advise you as to the best course of action for your case. If you are facing larceny/embezzlement charges, contact Ms. Gaborik for your consultation at (804) 334-4351 or (804) 780-3080.