Embezzlement is a type of white collar crime that occurs when somebody illegally takes the property or assets entrusted to him or her that belong to another person. Typically, embezzlement involves money, but other types of property or assets can also be embezzled. Embezzlement might involve an employee who is frequently entrusted with the money or assets of his or her employer or company. These cases and other types of white collar crime are usually very complex due to the amount of paper work, ledgers and financial documents involved. After an embezzlement arrest or charge, it’s a good idea to speak with criminal defense attorney who has proven white collar crime case experience.
Embezzlement and White Collar Crime
Embezzlement, like many other white collar crimes, is characterized by it’s non-violent, financial nature. This is the type of charge that gets slapped on guys who wear suits, thus the name white collar crime. These financial crimes are almost exclusively non-violent in nature and almost always require a separate set of skills for prosecution and defense. These cases are complicated and there is often a tremendous amount of paper work and financial evidence involved.
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We know that embezzlement is essentially taking for your own personal gain the money that has been entrusted in your care, but what exactly constitutes an embezzlement charge? There are actually four elements associated with embezzlement crimes. Listed below are the four elements of embezzlement that must be satisfied in order to get charged with the crime.
Four Elements of Embezzlement
- You must have a fiduciary relationship with the party who owns the property or asset.
- You gained possession of the property through the fiduciary relationship.
- You acquired ownership through the fiduciary relationship with intent to permanently deprive its owner.
- Your actions were intentional.
Being Entrusted With Money or Assets
What essentially separates embezzlement from simple theft or larceny is that the person who embezzles has been entrusted with money or assets. That’s why this crime is so often associated with companies, employees or other types of businesses. There has to be an element of fiduciary responsibility involved, otherwise it could be a case of larceny.
In most cases, embezzlement isn’t the only charge involved. Each case is different, but it’s not uncommon to see additional charges associated with embezzlement or other types of white collar crime. In fact, depending upon how the money was embezzled, there can be charges like fraud, forgery, larceny and identity theft added on. If you’re facing embezzlement or any type of white collar crime charge, it’s essential to speak with a skilled criminal defense about your case as soon as possible. These cases are very complex and require a great deal of research, so the sooner you talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer, the better shot you have at a favorable outcome.
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Depending upon the circumstances of your individual case, you could be facing jail time, fines or even a significant amount of time behind bars. The amount of money or assets involved in your case will likely determine the severity of charges and potential sentences you could face. If there are any additional charges, your case could also be more complicated. In many cases, it’s also possible to lose your occupational or professional licensing after an embezzlement conviction. Your best bet after getting slapped with an embezzlement charge is to speak with a skilled and proven criminal defense attorney who has successful embezzlement case experience.
Your Embezzlement Defense
You and your lawyer can go over the details of your particular case. Depending upon the circumstances and facts of your case, there are a variety of different common defenses to embezzlement charges. In many cases, there simply isn’t enough evidence to convict. It’s also possible that duress or entrapment were somehow involved in your individual situation. Finally, to be convicted of embezzlement, a certain and very specific type of intent has to be proven. If the prosecution can prove intent, you should not be convicted of the crime.
After any kind of arrest, it’s critical to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on your defense. Cases of white collar crime like embezzlement are usually very complex and lengthy due to the amount of financial paperwork and information involved, so the sooner you have your lawyer on the case, the better. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with embezzlement in Jackson or the surrounding communities, contact the skilled team at Coxwell & Associates, PLLC at (601) 265-7766 for an immediate case consultation.