DC Embezzlement Lawyer
Embezzlement is a common word used to describe situations of fraud and theft by an employee, agent, or associate that rightfully belonged to the organization or company and not the individual.
There is no specific charge of embezzlement in DC; the charges are theft and fraud. The term ’embezzlement’ is an umbrella term describing the relationship and the act. The relationship is someone who has access to information or property based on their job or position with the company or agency. They use that access for their own benefit to unlawfully take property or funds from that company, agency, or other entity.
A charge of embezzlement can bring forward severe penalties. Therefore, if you are currently facing such a charge, it is pertinent that you consult with a DC embezzlement lawyer as soon as possible to being mounting a defense to challenge the charge. A fraud attorney experienced with these charges can assist in building a defense and in ensuring that those charged know what to expect through the legal process.
How This Offense is Charged
Because of the relationship involved, an individual suspected of embezzlement might first be contacted by someone within the organization or company. In other words, some irregularity is noticed through an audit or a specific transaction that is questioned and there may be an internal investigation. There might be a meeting, an e-mail, or a phone call to notify the individual that there is something amiss.
It is critical when someone is accused of or is involved in some form of embezzlement to contact a DC embezzlement attorney as soon as possible. Individuals who are involved in embezzlement think that if they are caught, admit that they took something, and agree to pay it back, that it ends the matter. In some cases, it might end there.
Most of the time, however, everything they admitted is turned over to the police. The person is fired, must pay everything back, and is prosecuted for a misdemeanor or a felony.
Burden of Proof
As in any theft or fraud case, the government must prove that an individual knowingly acted with the intent to take the property of another without the lawful authority to do so. Embezzlement describes a situation involving the relationship between the person charged and the victim where the person charged is an employee or associate of the victim, an agency, or employer.
The prosecution must show that this was no accident. The person charged acted knowingly and intentionally with the intent to take the property or to commit the fraud. The prosecution must establish all of that. They must build their case using all of the evidence they can muster.
That is why it is so important for someone accused or charged with embezzlement to consult with an experienced DC embezzlement attorney as soon as possible. They may feel compelled or sorry enough to admit their actions. That can dramatically harm their chances of successfully defending against the allegations in a later criminal case against them.
Consequences For a Conviction
When someone is convicted of embezzlement, it is difficult to explain off of their record. The immediate penalties include a court order to pay restitution, probation, jail or prison, and/or a fine. Long after those specific penalties expire, the individual’s record shows convictions for embezzlement, meaning theft or fraud.
Those are crimes of moral turpitude that involve a negative character trait. It is not good to have theft or fraud from an employer, other agencies, or entities on someone’s record. They may find it extremely difficult to be hired at any decent job that requires a background check and shows that the individual previously defrauded an employer.
The most common misconception regarding embezzlement is that when someone is confronted with the embezzlement, admits to it, and agrees to repay it, they think they will not be criminally charged. They believe they will not face any kind of criminal prosecution because they worked it out with their employer or agency. Unfortunately, in the vast majority of situations, that is simply not the case; that person will be prosecuted.
The second most common misconception is that if a person did not successfully complete the theft or fraud, such as attempting to do so but it failed or it was found out before it was successful, that person is not going to be prosecuted. At most, that person is only fired from their position. This is also not true. In that situation, a person can be just as easily prosecuted for theft or fraud for their attempt, making it important that a DC embezzlement lawyer is contacted even if the act is not alleged to have been completed.
Contacting a Lawyer
Ideally, someone should hire a DC embezzlement attorney with vast experience in embezzlement cases as soon as they commit any unlawful act falling under the umbrella of “embezzlement.”
Failing that, someone should consult with a lawyer before they are caught or when they are afraid they are about to be caught. More realistically, as few people contact legal counsel until they have reason to believe they will be caught, they should contact an attorney to make sure that they take the next best steps at the earliest opportunity if they believe that they engaged in or are accused of some form of embezzlement activity.