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What to Know When Facing an Embezzlement Charge

 Posted on November 03, 2023 in Uncategorized

Dallas embezzlement lawyerIf you have been accused of embezzlement, understanding the basics of the crime, potential penalties, and effective defense strategies is crucial. Embezzlement involves the fraudulent appropriation of money or property entrusted to your care but actually belonging to someone else. A Texas lawyer can help you with what to know if you are under investigation or facing charges and then create the most robust case possible for you.

Key Elements of Embezzlement

For a conviction under Texas statutes, prosecutors must prove these elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • You were entrusted with money or property belonging to another person or entity based on your role as an employee, trustee, attorney, or other position of responsibility.
  • You intentionally misappropriated the funds or property by keeping or using them for an unauthorized purpose.
  • Your intent was fraudulent, meaning you knowingly appropriated them for your benefit or use.

If the value is under $2,500, it is a misdemeanor in Texas. Even temporarily “borrowing” funds under your control can potentially constitute illegal embezzlement absent written approval.

Potential Penalties and Sentencing

Most embezzlement over $2,500 is classified as a 3rd to 1st-degree felony based on total value stolen. Sentences can range from 2 to 99 years in prison. Fines up to $10,000 may also be imposed, along with restitution and probation involving community supervision.

Building an Effective Legal Defense

Your attorney will know how to combat embezzlement charges by challenging the prosecution’s burden of proof. Potential strategies include contesting intent, disproving ownership of funds, demonstrating authorization, attacking the credibility of witnesses, and suppressing improperly obtained evidence.

A lawyer can also negotiate favorable plea bargains or pretrial diversion programs, resulting in dismissed charges upon successful probationary completion. Creating a strong defense focused on reasonable doubt is vital to protecting your future and avoiding drastic penalties.

Presenting Mitigating Factors

If convicted, your attorney can advocate for leniency at sentencing by presenting mitigating circumstances like minimal criminal history, compliance since arrest, family dependents, restitution already paid, health conditions requiring treatment, and other factors demonstrating your otherwise good character.

While embezzlement charges should never be taken lightly, thorough preparation and skilled negotiation can still lead to resolutions short of maximum penalties. Even weak cases can end with dropped charges or acquittals when aggressively defended.

Contact a Dallas, TX Embezzlement Attorney

If you are facing a serious charge like embezzlement, it is not the type of case to try and resolve on your own. A Dallas, TX embezzlement lawyer can help you through the proper steps to ensure you are on the right track. Call Spencer & Associates at 214-385-8500 for a free consultation.

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