Facing criminal charges of any kind is overwhelming for anyone in California. One of the most common white-collar offenses is embezzlement. If you face charges for this crime, these are some defense strategies you can potentially use in your case.
How embezzlement occurs
Usually, people in business or government commit embezzlement. It’s considered both theft and larceny; a person can face charges if they steal or misappropriate funds belonging to someone else who trusted them to oversee or handle them. For example, a person working at a financial institution such as a bank pockets money they are supposed to manage on behalf of other people.
Many victims of embezzlement schemes are ordinary people who have entrusted their money to a professional or other trusted individual; this could be a bank official, executor of an estate, conservator, guardian or trustee. In many instances, the crime is committed by an employee in a high position involving large amounts of money.
Common embezzlement defenses
One common defense to embezzlement is to argue that you did not take the money. This requires the defense to prove that the charges are false by providing evidence.
Another common defense is that the individual took the money for actual business purposes. Many people are falsely accused of embezzlement when they are given the task of using money for work rather than personal gain.
Insufficient evidence is another possible defense to embezzlement charges. If the prosecution cannot prove a fiduciary relationship existed, that the defendant’s actions were intentional rather than erroneous and that they hid or transferred the funds or property, this defense might work.
Duress is a defense that can be used if the person genuinely believed that someone would be harmed if they didn’t commit embezzlement. However, this defense is often challenging.
Embezzlement charges should always be challenged. Your life can change even with false accusations.