Three Keys to Understand Embezzlement Charges
Embezzlement Charges – What to know?
Embezzlement is a crime most people have heard of, but few might fully understand. The term defines theft of property that didn’t belong to the thief, but to which the thief was given access. It is a white collar crime that usually–but not always–involves money. If you have been charged with embezzlement, understanding the nature of the charge may help.
1. Who Gets Charged with Embezzlement?
Most embezzlement charges come against financial workers or employees of a company. Their positions give them access to company or client funds, providing an opportunity to take advantage of that trust. Accounting firms or other financial services organizations may be charged with embezzlement. Those charged often will not look or feel like hardened criminals.
2. Intent Is Key
Before you can be convicted of embezzlement, the prosecution must show that you intended to steal. This is important because, in the financial services industry, accounting mistakes can result in funds being moved to accounts where they should not be. If the prosecutor cannot prove that your action was intentional rather than a mistake, you cannot be convicted of embezzlement.
3. Can Be a Misdemeanor or a Felony
Depending on the details of embezzlement, it can be charged as a felony or as a misdemeanor. It comes down to the value of what was allegedly stolen. If the total amount embezzled is valued at less than $2,500, the charge is a Class A misdemeanor, which can bring a fine and up to nine months in jail. Once the amount stolen passes $2,500, though, it becomes a felony, with fines of $10,000 and prison time if you are convicted.
Regardless of whether the charge is a misdemeanor or a felony, embezzlement charges carry serious consequences for your life and your career. If you have been charged with embezzlement, contact the criminal defense lawyers at Eisenberg Law Offices, online or at (608)256-8356. We will give you the defense you deserve.