What is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement charges can have serious ramifications on your career prospects and opportunities for the rest of your life. While an embezzlement charge is considered a “white collar” crime, a conviction will cause you to have a criminal record.
For this reason, it is important that you take every action that you can to defend yourself against embezzlement charges. Most important will be having an experienced criminal defense attorney like Dewey Brinkley representing you. Here are some things to know if you need a defense against embezzlement charges.
Embezzlement is when someone steals money from a person or business. This includes business owners stealing from their business or a home health aide that takes money from a client’s bank account to use for their own personal use.
Embezzlement can occur in many different scenarios. If you take money slowly from a business in small amounts and stash it away, it’s embezzlement. It is also considered embezzlement if large amounts are stolen.
There is typically not a violent component to an embezzlement charge. Regardless, in North Carolina, embezzlement crimes are always considered felonies.
Complicit With Embezzlement
In some cases, you may not have been the person to actually steal the money. If you altered your company’s revenue reports to hide the embezzlement or could have stopped it but didn’t, you could be held liable. Since business owners, managers, financial advisors, and c-level executives are legally required to create honest reports, they could also be held liable for embezzlement.
Types of Defenses Against Embezzlement Charges
There are 5 common defenses that your criminal defense lawyer might utilize to ensure that you have a strong chance of winning.
Reporting Suspected Embezzlement
If you reported the suspected embezzlement within your company to the police and relevant authorities, this can be used as evidence to support the fact that you didn’t have anything to do with the criminal activities within your company. You merely noticed it.
If you reported your suspicions to someone else that’s higher up in the company, this could also be used to corroborate your story. Even if they didn’t take the necessary steps to notify the appropriate authorities, there is evidence that you tried to escalate your concerns.
You Already Own the Assets You Allegedly Stole
You can’t embezzle something that you already own. If you own the assets that you allegedly embezzled, you can’t be accused of stealing them. You can’t be held on charges for stealing your own property. You would need to be able to provide proof that you own the money or assets in question.
Embezzlement cases can be notoriously difficult to build. If the prosecutor lacks sufficient evidence, your criminal defense lawyer can cite the insufficient evidence as grounds for getting your case dismissed.
If you believe that you could be harmed unless you commit a crime, this means that you may be able to use duress as a defense strategy. For example if your supervisor threatens to fire you unless you help embezzle money or cover it up, your actions were made under duress.
For white-collar crimes, law enforcement may try to entrap you. In other words, they will try to get you to commit a crime that you may not otherwise commit. This can also be grounds for trying to get a case dismissed.
Consult a Criminal Justice Attorney in North Carolina
Fighting off an embezzlement charge requires a strong defense. If you or a loved one have been charged with embezzlement, contact the Law Office of Dewey P. Brinkley at (919) 832-0307 or by using the online form. You can discuss your case and decide on what to do next during your initial consultation. Dewey P. Brinkley has experience fighting white-collar charges.