What Is the Legal Definition of Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is a crime that involves one person using a position of trust or responsibility to steal money or resources from another person or entity. You must avoid making statements about your actions until you speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney if you don’t want to make your situation any worse.

Embezzlement Examples

It’s now time to explore some examples of embezzlement to get a clear picture of the charges you are facing. Doing so will arm you with the needed knowledge to choose a path that makes sense. An accountant works for a large company and is in charge of setting up automated payroll deposits for employees working for the company.

The accountant uses her position to create a profile for an employee who does not exist and sends small amounts of money to a fake bank account. The accountant can then access the fake bank account and transfer the funds to her own account, making her guilty of embezzlement.

Possible Penalties

The penalties you could face for embezzlement depend on several factors, including the amount of money you allegedly stole. If you took less than $950, the legal system can charge you with a misdemeanor that comes with a maximum sentence of up to six months in jail.

You can face up to 20 years in prison if a jury finds you guilty of stealing more than $25,000. Also, the prosecutor might want to offer a plea agreement to avoid going to trial and will offer a reduced sentence in return. Speaking with a criminal defense lawyer and learning the strength of your case will ensure you get the best possible deal if you choose this path.

Getting Help

Dealing with embezzlement accusations by yourself is not a smart move and can force you to face problems you could have otherwise avoided. Even if the other party has not yet filed formal charges, speaking with a criminal defense lawyer is the only safe bet. Your lawyer will review the possible evidence against you and help you craft a solid defense.

Allowing your lawyer to negotiate with your accuser and the court can let you reach a fair agreement that makes sense for everyone. If you are not happy with the deal you are offered, your lawyer will relentlessly defend your rights in front of a judge or jury.