One of the oldest and relevant forms of crime is theft. Embezzlement is a type of theft crime associated with stealing money from an employer or organization. One common way people commit embezzlement is by using the company’s credit cards to buy personal items.
Embezzlement is not your regular theft and is a very serious offense. If you are accused of embezzling money, you could seek help from a criminal defense lawyer Knoxville, TN. Meanwhile, here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions regarding embezzlement that may help you learn more about your situation.
Answering questions related to embezzlement
- What are the penalties associated with embezzlement?
The penalties for embezzlement can vary depending on your state and the amount you have embezzled. For example, thefts of $2,500 or lower are considered misdemeanors, whereas amounts greater than that are considered felonies. A felony embezzlement charge can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000.
- Do you have to pay back the embezzled funds?
Yes. If it is successfully proved that you had embezzled money from a person or company, you are supposed to pay them back the entire amount with interest. This is known as restitution and is a part of your sentence, along with fines and imprisonment. Even if you do not have the funds to pay back the victim, the judge will still order you to do so.
- Does embezzlement only include the theft of money?
No. embezzlement can also include the theft of valuable property, such as jewelry, office equipment, artwork, etc. These are referred to as tangible property.
- How can you identify a person committing embezzlement?
Identifying embezzlement is typically done by observing the living standards of a person. If a person is spending beyond their standards, they are probably acquiring the extra money from someplace else. If they cannot explain their expenses or have documents backing up their finances, they will try to make up lies and excuses.
- What defenses can you use if accused of embezzlement?
If you are accused of embezzlement, there are several defenses that could help you get out of trouble.
- You honestly believed the property or money you took was yours.
- You honestly thought that the owner would have allowed you to take the money or property.
- You honestly thought you had the right to use the money or property.
When you are charged with embezzlement, having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side could mean the difference between probation and prison. Such charges can tarnish your reputation significantly and even affect your ability to remain employable. Schedule a meeting with an attorney today.