Virginia Embezzlement laws

Embezzlement is a type of theft where a person has been entrusted to the care or monitoring of someone else’s property and then steals some or all of that money or property. The key item that differentiates embezzlement from regular larceny is that the defendant had legal right to access the money or property, and then stole it.

An example might be a person who is taking care of a trust for underaged children and takes some of it for their own purposes, or a bank teller who handles customer’s money as a part of their job, but also steals from the till.

The penalties for embezzlement differ depending on just how much money or property was taken.

Value up to $200 (excluding firearms): If convicted, the defendant faces up to a $2500 fine and/or up to a year in jail.

Value exceeding $200 and firearms regardless of value: The judge has a certain amount of discretion and may allow crimes in this category to be charged as misdemeanors (as above) or may give the defendant a heavier penalty of 1-20 years in prison.

As you can imagine it is extremely important to have an experienced criminal defence lawyer to handle your case for you if you involved in any embezzlement crime.

If you are facing this situation, Faraji Rosenthall offers free consultations to discuss the matter. Simply call (703) 934-0101 where we will happily discuss your case, either face to face or over the phone. We have three offices to serve you in Fairfax, Manassas and Alexandria VA.

Dealing With Shoplifting Charges in Virginia

Shoplifting is a very common crime in Virginia. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of the consequences of being convicted of shoplifting.

There are two main types of shoplifting: misdemeanor larceny (also known as petit larceny) and felony grand larceny. The benchmark for felony grand larceny is very low; it is any theft valuing $200 or more. Thus, if you are caught shoplifting, you could easily be facing felony charges.

Shoplifting is not considered a violent crime, but it is considered a “sign of moral turpitude”, and a shoplifting conviction can have serious consequences. Not only can it never be expunged, it will affect future employment (in any job requiring security clearance) and will reflect poorly on your credibility in custody disputes, for instance, or when giving testimony.

Even if it is your first offense, the consequences can be enormous. That is why it is very important to have an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases. They will know every avenue of defense and work very hard at getting you off. Even if the evidence against you seems overwhelming, make sure to fight it. There may be avenues of defense you do not see. Don’t let one mistake ruin the rest of your life

If you are facing this situation, Faraji Rosenthall offers free consultations to discuss the matter. Simply call (703) 934-0101 where we will happily discuss your case, either face to face or over the phone. We have three offices to serve you in Fairfax, Manassas and Alexandria VA.

Virginia Felony What You Need To Know

A Virginia felony is a serious crime. The technical definition of a felony is a crime that is punishable by death, or by a prison sentence in excess of one year. All other crimes can be broadly categorized as misdemeanors, since by definition, they are punishable by prison terms of one year or less.

Because of the way that the punishment length indicates the severity of the crime, crimes which you might not necessarily expect to be felonious can be tried as such.

Let me explain: Obviously, murder, rape and aggravated assault are very serious, and no one would be surprised that they are Virginia felony charges.

However, relatively minor crimes can become Virginia felonies if the prosecutor believes that they are serious enough — for instance, drug possession becomes possession with intent to distribute, rolling a relatively minor offence into felony territory.

This also applies the number and type of convictions one has had in the past. Two or more misdemeanors for drunk driving and you may face a Virginia felony conviction, lose your right to vote and find it difficult to find employment.

In this manner, it’s easy to have relatively minor crimes add up to big consequences. Reckless driving can become reckless endangerment, theft can become grand larceny. What you don’t know definitely can hurt you.

When it comes to the justice system, don’t take a chance on things spiralling out of control. The office of Faraji Rosenthall offers free consultations. Give us a call today.

A Brief Primer On Felony in Virginia

There are several types of Felonies in Virginia. Let’s look at what they are, and the punishments for each Felony.

Class 1 Felonies are punishable by life imprisonment, death, or a fine of no more than one hundred thousand dollars. The only example of Class 1 felonies in Virginia are premeditated murder under special circumstances.

Class 2 Felonies are punishable by imprisonment from life to no less than twenty years, or a fine of no more than one hundred thousand dollars. Examples of Class 2 felonies include certain types of murder, sexual crimes and kidnapping.

Class 3 Felonies can have a punishable prison term of no less than five years but nor more than twenty years in a state facility. Drug crimes, kidnapping and manslaughter may be designated a Class 3 felony. A fine of no more than one hundred thousand dollars is also possible.

Class 4 Felonies can have a prison term of no less than two years and no more than ten years in a state facility with a possible fine of no more than one hundred thousand dollars. Examples of Class 4 crimes include embezzlement and other white collar crimes, drug crimes, and arson.

Class 5 Felonies can carry a prison sentence of no less than one year and no more than ten years. At the discretion of the court, confinement in a county jail for no more than twelve months is also possible with a fine of no more than twenty-five hundred dollars. An individual can be sentenced to one or both of these punishments. Examples of Class 5 felonies include DWI, involuntary manslaughter, and extortion.

Class 6 Felonies can have prison terms of no less than one year and no more than five years, or like Class 5 Felonies, confinement in a county jail facility for no more than twelve months is possible. A fine of twenty-five hundred dollars is also possible. Class 6 felonies include reckless endangerment, animal cruelty, or repeated larcenies.

For any questions regarding a Felony in Virginia, please contact our office at: 703-934-0101.

Facebook: A New Legal Specialty

There are very few people out there that haven’t heard of Facebook. This social media tool always seems to be in the news and with good reason…over 9 million users and growing.

Facebook is set for their official IPO this week. It will go down as one of the biggest IPO ever. Forbes released an article on why it matters.

With billions on the table, what are the business opportunities for judges, politicians, even a Fairfax criminal lawyer? For many in the legal profession, we watch with interest as this company goes public.

The media shares the negative stories of Facebook — cyber-bullying, employees losing jobs, or adults in trouble posting things they shouldn’t. How the law interprets this sharing of information continues to evolve with new cases in court regularly.

You can find a Virginia Reckless Driving Lawyer, A Virginia DUI Attorney, or any other legal representation on Facebook then publicly ‘Like’ them. Is this a statement on your personal behavior and/or does it hold any weight if you ever had to go to court?

As reported in Virginia’s Lawyer Weekly this May, the Virginia courts ruled that ‘Likes’ on Facebook were NOT protected. Plaintiffs working for the Sheriff’s office claimed that because they ‘Liked’ his opponent on Facebook, it actually got them fired. They claimed unfair dismissal due to freedom of speech, the court ruled that ‘Liking’ was not a protected freedom and awarded the case to newly re-elected Sheriff B.J. Roberts.

“Merely ‘liking’ a Facebook page is insufficient speech to merit constitutional protection,” said Newport News U.S. District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. “In cases where courts have found that constitutional speech protections extended to Facebook posts, actual statements existed within the record. … Facebook posts can be considered matters of public concern,” but not in this case,” Jackson said inBland v. Roberts(VLW 012-3-171).

Facebook’s creator, Mark Zuckerberg, would argue that the new mode of communication and the ripple-down effect of changing laws are part of the social evolution. He believes if we’re willing to post and share, our information belongs to the world.

There’s no doubt it’s an interesting topic to watch. Who knows, maybe we’ll need to update our Virginia DWI orReckless Driving FAQs page?!

Do you have a Facebook story or legal question? As experienced Fairfax criminal lawyers, our team is happy to help. Our legal consultations are always free, we look forward to hearing from you.