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How an Aggressive Lawyer Can Fight Your Embezzlement Charges

By Spodek Law Group | October 20, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 20, 2023)

Last Updated on: 20th October 2023, 08:04 pm


How an Aggressive Lawyer Can Fight Your Embezzlement Charges

Being charged with embezzlement can be an incredibly stressful and frightening experience. As someone accused of misusing or stealing funds entrusted to you, the legal consequences can be severe. But having an aggressive defense lawyer on your side can make all the difference in fighting the charges and avoiding harsh penalties.

In this article, we’ll break down how an experienced embezzlement defense attorney can build a strong case for your innocence. We’ll look at common strategies they use to get charges reduced or dismissed – from challenging the prosecution’s evidence and motives, to presenting affirmative defenses that justify your actions. With the right legal advocacy, even serious embezzlement allegations can be overcome.

Understanding the Elements of Embezzlement

Before developing defense strategies, your lawyer first needs to fully understand the specifics of your alleged crime. Embezzlement involves a few key elements that prosecutors must prove:

  • You were entrusted with someone else’s money or property, like an employer or client
  • You were not authorized to use the money/property for your own benefit
  • You intentionally misused or took the money/property for an unauthorized purpose

If any of these factors are missing or weak, your lawyer can argue the embezzlement charges should be dismissed. For example, if you had permission to use company funds for personal expenses, or you took money by accident without criminal intent. An aggressive attorney will scrutinize the accusations to find any plausible weaknesses.

Questioning the Strength of the Prosecution’s Evidence

A skilled embezzlement lawyer knows that sloppy police work or assumptions can lead to wrongful charges. They will aggressively challenge the quality of the prosecution’s evidence and testimony at every opportunity. This includes:

  • Filing motions to exclude evidence that was obtained illegally or is more prejudicial than probative
  • Seeking to suppress your statements if you were not Mirandized properly
  • Contesting sloppy forensic accounting methods used to calculate missing amounts
  • Cross-examining witnesses to expose credibility issues or ulterior motives
  • Objecting frequently during trial to insert doubts about witness testimony

By relentlessly picking apart the prosecution’s case, an experienced lawyer can plant those “reasonable doubts” in the jury’s mind that lead to acquittal. Even if the evidence is strong, skilled cross-examination can still minimize its impact.

Humanizing You for the Jury

Beyond attacking the charges themselves, a good embezzlement attorney will also work to humanize you and evoke sympathy from the jury. They may have you take the stand to share your side of the story. Or they will bring forth character witnesses to tout your honesty and community standing. The goal is portraying you as a real person who made a mistake, not a cunning criminal.

Your lawyer may also hire jury consultants to help select jurors more inclined to relate to you and your situation. Aggressive advocacy extends beyond the courtroom – your attorney wants the jury primed to like you from the start.

Introducing Affirmative Defenses

In some cases, your lawyer may admit you did use company funds improperly. But they will argue you had a valid reason that should excuse your actions. These “affirmative defenses” can include:

  • Good faith – You had a reasonable belief the owner allowed you to use the funds
  • Duress – You were coerced into committing embezzlement by threats of harm
  • Necessity – You needed to embezzle to pay for critical medical care or basic living expenses

While judges and juries can be skeptical of these defenses, a compelling lawyer may convince them you acted without criminal intent. They will pull at the jury’s heartstrings to justify your behavior.

Negotiating Plea Deals or Lesser Charges

If a trial conviction seems likely, an experienced attorney will pursue plea bargain negotiations aggressively. They may propose:

  • Pleading to a lesser charge like false pretenses that carries lighter penalties
  • Agreeing to restitution in exchange for probation instead of prison time
  • Entering a pretrial diversion program where charges get dismissed upon completion

With their negotiating skills and understanding of prosecutors, defense lawyers can often reach deals that avoid the worst outcomes. They know how to leverage weaknesses in the state’s case or extenuating circumstances to your advantage.

Fighting Restitution Amounts

If convicted of embezzlement, you will almost certainly have to pay restitution to compensate the victim for their losses. Your attorney will contest inflated or unreasonable restitution requests to minimize the financial hit. They may argue:

  • The estimated stolen amount is exaggerated and not supported by evidence
  • Certain claimed losses were not directly caused by your actions
  • You should only owe the net amount gained from the embezzlement after expenses

Vigorously disputing the restitution amount, even by a few thousand dollars, can make a difference in your ability to move on after the case.

Getting Your Story Out There

If your lawyer believes you have a strong innocence claim, they may engage the media to share your side of the story. Positive news coverage questioning the charges or portraying you sympathetically can influence public perception. And it may put pressure on the prosecution to reconsider pursuing a flawed case. Be wary, however, of attorneys making big promises about getting your charges dismissed through media campaigns.

The Bottom Line

Facing embezzlement accusations is daunting. But an aggressive defense lawyer has many strategies to challenge the prosecution’s case and present your actions in the best possible light. While a positive outcome is never guaranteed, skilled legal advocacy maximizes the chance of avoiding harsh penalties. Don’t take chances with your future – hire a fighter who will tirelessly defend you.


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