Embezzlement charges have the potential to turn your personal, financial and professional life upside down. And if you’re convicted of this crime, it could change your life permanently.
While embezzlement is a serious white collar crime, it’s important to remember that there are a variety of defense strategies available to you. Choosing the right one goes a long way in giving you confidence as your day in court arrives.
The best defense strategies
The best defense strategy for you may not be the best for the next person, and vice versa. For that reason, you must consider all the embezzlement defense strategies that are available to you. Some of the most common include:
- Insufficient evidence: For example, if there is no paper trail connected to your charges, your legal team may be able to argue that there’s insufficient evidence to convict you.
- Duress: This comes into play if someone forces you into embezzling funds, such as through the act of black mail. An example is a supervisor telling you that they’ll release personal information to your coworkers if you don’t do what you’re told.
- No intent: From the outside looking in, it may appear that you intended to commit a crime. However, if you can prove that there was no intent, you may be able to avoid a conviction. The key here is the ability to prove that you had reason to believe the assets belonged to you.
- Incapacity: It’s difficult to prove, but a defense strategy to consider if you’re charged with embezzlement (or a related crime). A common example is someone who was heavily medicated at the time of the crime.
Along with the above, if you took steps to make things right, such as repaying the money you embezzled, it can work in your favor. This isn’t a stand-alone defense strategy, but it is something you can use to your advantage.
The way you defend yourself against embezzlement charges depends on the circumstances surrounding your case. Once you know your options, you can decide which strategy gives you the best chance of avoiding a conviction and the harsh penalties typically associated with it.