Being accused of mismanaging funds is bad enough, but being brought up on charges of embezzlement can be devastating to your reputation and lead to prison time. It’s important to consult a criminal defense attorney as soon as you learn of an investigation. At Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C. in Charlottesville, our criminal defense lawyers have ample experience with white-collar crime cases, including matters where embezzlement is alleged. When we get involved early, we can guard you against statements or actions that could harm your chances at trial. If charges have already been brought against you, we can provide the aggressive defense you need to counter the accusations effectively.
Embezzlement is a particular type of financial crime, where a person with authority to manage someone else’s resources abuses that authority for unlawful self-enrichment. Considered a form of white-collar crime, embezzlement requires opportunity and a position of trust. Defendants in embezzlement cases are often professional fiduciaries, such as financial managers, accountants and bankers.
To convict a defendant of embezzlement, the prosecution must prove four elements:
The defendant must go beyond simply taking possession; they must convert the asset(s) for their own use.
Prosecutors must prove all four required elements to obtain a conviction. Many defenses focus on the fourth element: the accused’s intent. A defendant might disprove intent by showing:
Our criminal defense team evaluates the circumstances of your charges and develops a defense strategy that is appropriate for your case.
Embezzlement is a non-violent theft crime, and can be charged as a state misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the amount of money involved. Convictions can draw stiff fines and lengthy jail time, along with demands for restitution. But you should also be aware that certain facts can make embezzlement a federal crime. For example, if the defendant took money from a federal agency, used a phone or the Internet to commit the crime, or took funds from a bank that belongs to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, federal charges can be brought. Given the complexity of these cases, you should only trust your case to a determined and experienced criminal defense law firm.
Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C. in Charlottesville defends clients accused of committing white-collar crimes, including embezzlement. Call today at 434-973-7474 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. For your convenience, we also have offices in Harrisonburg, Palmyra and Staunton.
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