Embezzlement charges are serious criminal charges which should not be taken lightly. Accused individuals may be understandably concerned about embezzlement charges and be aware of the potential penalties they are facing and the criminal defense options available to them.
Potential penalties for embezzlement charges
Embezzlement charges are typically theft charges and generally allege that the accused individual was rightfully in possession of property at the time of the alleged crime but that they somehow misappropriated that property. In general, an alleged embezzler acquired possession of the property in question due to their position, role or relationship such as an employee handling money for their employer.
Embezzlement charges can be misdemeanor or felony charges depending on the situation and the accused individual may face imprisonment up to 10 years and may be fined up to $20,000. Specific penalties vary by case. The possible incarceration sentence and fine depends on the value of the money or property allegedly embezzled. Possible defenses to embezzlement charges can include lack of intent, duress, entrapment, a good faith belief in ownership of the property and others. It is also essential that authorities followed all required procedures in charging and arresting the accused individual and that the accused’s rights were not violated.
Accused individuals facing embezzlement accusations, allegations and charges should act promptly to begin developing their criminal defense response and a strong criminal defense strategy. A criminal defense is what may stand between them and the loss of their freedom, time in jail or prison and other personal and professional consequences they may face.