How Do I Hire a Criminal Defense Attorney to Fight Embezzlement Charges?
If you have been charged with embezzlement, you should know it is a very serious and complex charge. When judges decide that someone has used their company to fund their lifestyle, they tend to punish harshly. The cases are complex, and a lot of documents, ledgers, and financial questions will be needed in order for a conviction to be made. You need a lawyer for this: otherwise, you may face some serious time or fines.
What Are Some Examples of Embezzlement?
Most of the time, embezzlement involves an employee taking money from their employers or business partners. This can mean a lot of different things, but a few common examples include:
- A payroll manager creates fictitious employees, issues them checks, and then cashes those checks.
- A store employee takes money from a cash register and then uses the register to process a fake refund.
- An elderly woman gives her caregiver money for bills, and the caregiver uses that money for personal expenses.
- A clerk charges customers full-price for an item that should be on sale, and then keeps the money.
How Can a Lawyer Fight My Charge?
Most forms of commerce involve a business trusting someone to process transactions in an honest manner. Clients have to trust someone else to use money in a way they agree upon. Businesses have to trust that the employees in charge of finances use that money in the way they are supposed to. When this trust is broken, embezzlement occurs.
To convict someone of embezzlement, prosecutors must prove the following:
- The accused must have been in a position of trust,
- The accused must have used money or property without permission from the owner,
- And the accused must have purposely intended to take money from the victim.
If a prosecutor is unable to prove each of these three factors beyond a reasonable doubt, a conviction is unlikely: this is why you want to have an experienced embezzlement lawyer on your side. A good lawyer can prove that you had permission to use the money, or that you are not the person responsible for the missing money. The goal of an embezzlement lawyer is to build a strong defense. There are a few different possible defenses, the most common being duress, incapacity, and lack of intent:
- Duress – The duress defense is used when one commits a crime because they believe something bad will happen to them if they don’t. A lawyer might recommend this defense if the embezzlement occurred because your employer threatened your job if you refused to participate.
- Incapacity – This defense is used when you are mentally incapacitated and cannot understand the crime you are committing and possible consequences. For example, if you recently started a new medication, your lawyer may recommend this defense.
- Lack of intent – Lawyers can sometimes prove that you did not mean to embezzle. For example, if you took money that you truly believed was yours, the lawyer might recommend this defense.
How Do I Hire an Embezzlement Lawyer?
The Skinner Law Firm handles embezzlement cases throughout Chester County, Delaware County, and Montgomery County. If you have been accused of embezzlement, call (610) 436-1410 or contact us here to discuss your case immediately.