Loss and Harm in Virginia Beach Embezzlement Sentencing

The amount of money that was embezzled is a factor when considering loss and harm in Virginia Beach embezzlement sentencing. The judge will take the amount embezzled into consideration, which is something the jury also considers if it is a jury trial. Sentencing guidelines can be quite punitive depending on the amount of money that was embezzled. For example, if the loss was less than $200 it is going to be a misdemeanor, whereas if it is more than $200 it is going to be a felony.

With so much at stake, the help of an embezzlement attorney can be invaluable. If you face embezzlement charges and are wondering about loss and harm in Virginia Beach embezzlement sentencing, consult a knowledgeable embezzlement lawyer who can explain harm and loss, and work to mitigate potential resultant penalties.

Difference Between Actual Loss and Intended Loss

The actual loss is the money that was taken from the company and intended loss is what a person was trying to take. Generally, the courts are going to focus on the actual harm done to the accuser of the charge and not speculative harm. However, it varies based on the case. If it turns out the defendant had a much larger scheme but for someone’s intervention and was not able to carry out this scheme, the judge will see that and take that into consideration.

Loss and Mandatory Minimums

There are no mandatory minimums when it comes to loss and harm considerations in Virginia Beach embezzlement sentencing. The amount embezzled is something that is specifically mentioned in the sentencing guidelines. In an embezzlement case, the amount that was embezzled is assigned specific points.

Evidence Defense Can Use to Mitigate Loss

If the defense attorney can prove how the embezzled money was spent (if it was done for a more noble purpose), that is something that would be presented to the judge. If the money was spent on fancy clothes and cars, the defense attorney may not want to bring that to anyone’s attention.

But if the money was spent for medication or food that the person or someone in the family needed, then that is something the defense will present to the judge for consideration. Also, as another example, if the defendant has been trying to put money back after it was taken, that would show a short term hardship; that they made a bad choice and were trying to fix it, but got caught in the act of fixing it.

Pecuniary Harm

Pecuniary harm refers to a certain amount of money taken from a victim. Pecuniary damages or pecuniary harm are money losses and are concerned with how much was actually taken from a victim. Reasonably foreseeable are things that a person did not necessarily try to cause, but that happened as a result.

For example, a defendant embezzled from the victim by taking $500 out of the victim’s bank account. The victim had given the defendant permission to write checks on that account, but the defendant wrote more checks than they were supposed to. As a result, the victim’s bank account became overdrawn and was charged $40 overdraft fees.

The defendant did not necessarily mean to have that $40 overdraft fee charged to the victim, but because the defendant was spending money from the victim’s account, it was foreseeable that the defendant could have caused that to happen. So, in theory, the defendant could then be responsible for that extra fee. Other than taking into account a person’s past record, the judge will also factor in someone’s acceptance of guilt or lack thereof, their ability to make restitution payments, and the relationship they have with the victim.


Harm is the amount of money or the value of any property that was improperly taken from the individual or company. With the Guidelines, the amount embezzled is taken into consideration. The larger the amount, the more likely that the judge is going to ignore the Guidelines and issue a sentence on their own.

The degree of harm is determined by the value of what was taken from the alleged victim, e.g., if it was all money or if it was property; the value of the property. If a person worked at a clothing store, arranging clothing to put on shelves, and hid some items to take home at the end of the day, the value of the property that the store lost is considered harm.

The degree of harm is something that the Guidelines take into account; the greater the amount, the more points that are given; the more points acquired, the longer sentence is recommended.

Contacting a Sentencing Lawyer

A person charged with embezzlement wants to talk to an experienced defense attorney who can present their case, especially if the person is in a position where they are going to be found guilty. An experienced defense attorney can present this case in the light most favorable to the person so that the judge is not tempted to give them a lengthy sentence. The defense attorney will need to prove to the judge that the defendant understands that what they did was wrong, that they took advantage of someone, but that they do not need to spend time in jail to get that point.

Embezzlement is a serious felony that carries the possibility of jail time. Therefore, a person charged with this crime definitely wants an experienced defense attorney who will do everything they can to put the defendant in the best position possible coming out of this case. A qualified lawyer will be able to consider loss and harm in Virginia Beach embezzlement sentencing and take it into account as they are crafting your defense.