If you find yourself in a Pennsylvania court facing charges of embezzlement, you need to understand the ins and outs of this charge. One of the top things to know is what the requirements are under the law to prove you are guilty of the crime. This will help you to mount a defense and properly argue your case in court. While your attorney will handle the details, it is still important to inform yourself about the major aspects of your case.
According to the United States Department of Justice, there are four requirements to prove embezzlement. This crime is essentially when a person takes property they were entrusted to care for by someone else, thus depriving that person of ownership.
To break this down, the prosecution must prove that you were entrusted with the duty to manage or oversee the stolen property and that you had a relationship with the owner. Generally, this means you are the employer of the person who owns the property. The prosecution must also prove you had possession of the property as part of your employment.
Finally, the prosecutor must show you took the property, made it your own, and did so with the intent to take the ownership of the property from the rightful owner.
One important note here is that you may give the property back or have the intent the whole time to return the property. This is not a valid defense. Even if you do return the property, the court can still find you guilty of embezzlement. This information is for education and is not legal advice.