A businessman in his mid-50s was recently charged with embezzlement, a Class 6 felony. Since he had never had a criminal charge before, he was very worried about the impact this would have on his career options and employment status. He consulted Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico for their experienced Roanoke felony representation.
Our client had a falling out with his former employer, who terminated his position. Our client returned his office material to the company shortly thereafter. An old cell phone and an old computer were not returned as they had been replaced by newer items while our client was still employed. Our client did, however, return both of the new electronics.
This case was heard in Salem City General District Court. Because this was more of a civil matter than a criminal matter, attorney Cerid Lugar fought this case. She had the case dismissed upon a preliminary hearing trial before the court. The Commonwealth can directly indict the case to circuit court, but the general district court found that the case lacked probable cause to certify the case to circuit court.
The former employer has made additional claims of embezzlement and other charges may be forthcoming, but we are working to obtain and lock the witness into testimony as much as possible. Preliminary hearings may be used to lock witnesses into statements and uncover what evidence the Commonwealth may have. The majority of the time preliminary hearings are helpful in cases where the case will need to go before a judge or jury trial, or when a plea deal is either not offered by the Commonwealth or rejected by the client.
Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case. Case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any future case.