Fort Worth Embezzlement Lawyer
In the state of Texas, embezzlement is a form of theft. The difference between embezzlement and theft, is that in cases of embezzlement, assets or property are entrusted to an individual.
A Fort Worth embezzlement lawyer can help you defend against an accusation that you unlawfully took funds entrusted to you. The penalties that a conviction for embezzlement can carry depend on the amount that was allegedly embezzled but a thorough criminal attorney can protect your rights regardless of the potential consequences.
How is Embezzlement Defined
In Fort Worth, embezzlement is considered a white collar crime that involves the misappropriation or theft of assets that was entrusted to another. There are some circumstances that lead to embezzlement charges more often than others. These can include:
- Financial advisors or brokers keeping a client’s money or proceeds
- Employees redirecting their employer’s inventory for their own purposes
- Cashiers taking money out of their register
- Entrepreneurs convincing someone to invest in their company and then pocketing the investment
In some cases of embezzlement, there are also allegations of fraud, as well. However, fraud and embezzlement do not always go hand-in-hand. While funds can be fraudulently procured – often through misrepresentation or forgery – embezzlement is the independent act of keeping entrusted property for personal gain.
The penalties for embezzlement can be detrimental depending on the circumstances, the nature of the crime, and how much property was taken. If the assets taken are low in value, Texas classifies the crime as a misdemeanor. Assets that are high in value constitutes the crime as a felony.
Penalties for embezzlement include fines, restitution of the embezzled funds, and jail time. The charge can prevent someone with a prior conviction for embezzlement from obtaining employment, particularly if they previously worked in the financial sector. Many companies can outright refuse to hire someone with a prior conviction for white collar crimes such as embezzling funds.
Defenses Against an Accusation of Embezzlement
Allegations of embezzlement is serious, but the conduct that led up to the arrest and criminal charge is not always illegal. In many cases, embezzlement accusations follow a simple misunderstanding.
Mistake or Lack of Intent
An embezzlement conviction requires prosecutors to show that the underlying conduct was intentional. In many cases, though, the missing funds or property was the result of a simple mistake or misunderstanding. Math errors may send money to the wrong account, mistakes do not amount to embezzlement, especially if there was a lack of intent.
Identity of the Culprit
In many cases, employers who realize that they are missing property or funds care little for who takes the blame but rather recovering the lost asset. Proving another offender committed the crime can be an effective defense to embezzlement.
Value of Embezzled Property
Even if the evidence seems overwhelming, challenging the value of the embezzled property can still be worthwhile. The penalties of a conviction may increase drastically when the value of the property increases, so arguing the property has been overvalued may reduce the penalty.
How a Fort Worth Embezzlement Attorney Can Help
Being accused of embezzling funds can be confusing, frustrating, and scary. Understanding the law and proving your innocence can seem overwhelming, but it does not have to be. By consulting a Fort Worth embezzlement lawyer, you can trust a lawyer to work on your behalf, raise reasonable doubts, and challenge the prosecutor’s case.
With the help of an attorney, you can keep control of your future and ensure your rights and being protected. Call a skilled attorney today.