Columbia Embezzlement Lawyer

Nonviolent offenses committed for financial gain are referred to as white-collar crimes. Embezzlement, or the theft of money from a business or employer, is one such crime. In these situations, an employee often pockets money intended for the business. Embezzlement can ensue in seemingly simple situations, such as by people operating cash registers and skimming off the top or engaging in fraudulent returns. Anyone trusted with another individual’s funds or property can commit embezzlement. There are serious consequences when someone is convicted of such a crime.

When you are accused of embezzlement, you need the assistance of a knowledgeable theft attorney immediately. Every case is different, and the smallest of facts can make all the difference. Making a simple mistake can result in a wrongful embezzlement conviction. Reach out to a Columbia embezzlement lawyer as soon as you are investigated.

The Key Elements

Under state law, embezzlement is a part of theft or stealing offenses. There is no separate, specific law for embezzlement alone. Five basic elements must be present for someone to be found guilty, including:

  • Fraud: The prosecutor must show there was intent to commit fraud and not just a misunderstanding
  • Conversion: The offender must have deliberately violated the owner’s rights and misappropriated the property for their own use without the owner’s consent
  • Property: The accuser must show they were deprived of their assets, which may include both tangible and intangible property
  • Another Person: Another person must have been affected since an individual cannot embezzle their own property
  • Lawful Possession: The accused offender must prove they were in lawful possession of the property at the time of the fraudulent action

A lawyer in Columbia could help disprove the elements of an embezzlement charge so an accused person is not convicted.

The Potential Penalties

The alleged stolen amount will affect the severity of the penalties. Fines vary depending on the value of embezzled funds or property. The accused person can also typically expect to receive a jail sentence.

The accused can be charged with a misdemeanor, which is punishable by fines of up to $2,000 and up to one year of jail time when the funds are less than $750. When the value of the funds is $750 or more, but less than $25,000, the accused faces a Class D felony punishable by up to seven years in jail and fines up to $10,000. When the value of the funds is $25,000 or more, it is a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in jail and fines up to $10,000.

A conviction can also tarnish a person’s professional reputation and impact their ability to find employment in the future. Someone’s livelihood, freedom, and success are on the line when they face accusations of embezzlement. These serious repercussions require the assistance of an embezzlement defense lawyer in Columbia.

Defenses Against Embezzlement Charges

An attorney could help you build a defense against embezzlement charges in Missouri. Possible defenses include:

  • Lack of Intent: Showing there was no intent to commit theft or misappropriate funds.
  • Mistake of Fact: Demonstrating there was a misunderstanding or lack of knowledge regarding the use of the funds or property.
  • Authorization: Proving that the accused had authorization or permission to use the funds or property in the manner in question.

An experienced Columbia criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights, build a strong defense strategy, and work toward the best possible outcome for your embezzlement case.

Contact an Embezzlement Attorney in Columbia Today

An embezzlement conviction can influence the jobs you get or your personal relationships for the rest of your life. Do not risk your future by handling your case on your own. Securing legal representation is crucial. Facing embezzlement charges can be daunting. A Columbia embezzlement lawyer could offer guidance and support by helping you navigate the legal process and make informed decisions. Contact us today for help.

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