Facing embezzlement charges can be stressful and overwhelming, and you should get help from an embezzlement defense attorney right away to protect yourself. In the meantime, here’s an overview of what to do when you are charged with embezzlement.
First of all, remember that just because you’ve been charged with this or any crime, it doesn’t mean you’re guilty. You have legal rights and there are steps you can take to protect yourself and fight for the best outcome.
It is crucial that you seek legal representation as soon as possible. A skilled criminal defense lawyer will be able to provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate the legal system and defend your rights. They will review the evidence against you, advise you on the best course of action, and work to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Understand the Charges
California Penal Code 503 defines embezzlement as the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted. And there are specific elements of embezzlement that must be proven true in order for a person to be guilty.
To be found guilty of embezzlement, all of the following must be true:
- The owner of the property entrusted you with the property (this can be done directly or through an agent).
- The owner did this because they trusted you with their property.
- You used that property or fraudulently converted it for your own gain.
- You intended to rob the owner of the property or its use.
The burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and there are legal defenses that can help to reduce the charges or even get them dismissed altogether if they apply to your case.
Legal Defenses for Embezzlement
One defense is lack of criminal intent. Embezzlement requires that you knowingly and intentionally misappropriate funds, property, or assets that have been entrusted to you. If you can show that you did not have the requisite intent to commit embezzlement, this may be a viable defense for your case.
Another defense is if you believed you had the right to the property. There can’t be intentional theft if you believed you already had the right to the funds, property, or assets.
Being falsely accused of a crime is common, and this is another legal defense for embezzlement.
Yet another defense is mistaken identity. If the prosecution has mistaken you for someone else who committed the embezzlement, or if there is evidence to suggest that someone else may have committed the crime, this could be used to challenge the charges against you.
If you’re charged with embezzlement, it’s important to stay calm and cooperate with your defense team throughout the process. This includes being transparent and truthful with your lawyer, as well as following their guidance and advice.
Your defense team is on your side and is working to achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
Consult with an Experienced Embezzlement Defense Attorney Right Away
If you’ve been arrested or charged with embezzlement, we invite you to schedule a free consultation with Fresno Criminal Defense Lawyer Mark Broughton.
Mark Broughton sees every individual’s situation with compassion and empathy. He believes that everybody has the right to a fair trial and is innocent until proven guilty. He has more than 40 years of experience, and he will fight to get you the best outcome in your case, just as he has for so many other clients over his decades of service to the Fresno community.
Call 559-691-6222 or click here to use our convenient online form to get legal help today.
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