Champaign-Urbana Embezzlement Lawyer
If you have been accused of embezzlement in the Central Illinois area, contact Bruno Law Offices at (217) 328-6000. Embezzlement charges, like any criminal charge, have the potential to completely unhinge your life. The outcome of your trial depends on the evidence presented, and the defense assembled by your lawyer. It is imperative that you get a skilled lawyer on your side in the courtroom. The team at Bruno Law Offices will work with attention to detail on your case to ensure that no stone is left unturned, no possible defense left uninvestigated. Trust the Champaign-Urbana embezzlement attorneys of Bruno Law Offices to help you through this stressful time.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
Criminal charges of embezzlement are serious, the consequences are severe, and the law is confusing. It is imperative that you hire a skilled lawyer to help you navigate the charges against you. The road ahead is flooded with financial ledgers and documentation, negotiation and investigation, and complex questions, few of which you will likely be able to handle on your own. A lawyer can prevent you from facing the worst consequences, and may even be able to get your charges dropped entirely.
Why Choose Bruno Law Offices?
The team at Bruno Law Offices have the reputation of being the gold standard of criminal defense in Central Illinois. This reputation was earned through decades of hard work for their clients. The lawyers at Bruno Law Offices understand that a criminal accusation like embezzlement can throw your life into crisis. Our attorneys are prepared not only to fight for you in the courtroom, but also to help you remain organized and in control during this distressing period. We will pay attention to your case and your needs, and use our years of experience to direct you through the complications of criminal accusations.
What Do I Need to Know About the Charges Against Me?
Embezzlement is a criminal offense. It occurs when someone responsible for another’s property uses that property for personal gain. Embezzlement is not the same as larceny or theft. The offending embezzler must be a custodian of the property of another, meaning they are not the true owner but are trusted with the keeping of that property and therefore have legal access to it. There are several characteristics of embezzlement:
- Fiduciary Relationship: The offender and victim are linked by the embezzler’s responsibility for the victim’s property.
- Property Acquired: Embezzlement occurs when the custodian of the property, not its true owner, uses the property for personal gain. Depending on the property, this acquisition could be the transferral of funds to the offender’s bank account, or the theft of physical property, for example.
- Intent: Pre-meditation is a key characteristic of embezzlement. The offender must have had the intent to use another’s assets for personal gain for a case to be prosecuted. Embezzlement cannot be accidental.
Both tangible and intangible property can be embezzled. Tangible property denotes material items. For example, a company car could be embezzled by an employee of the company. Intangible property embezzlement occurs when stocks, bonds, money, or other non-physical currency is wrongfully acquired by its custodian.
In the state of Illinois, the terms of your sentencing will depend upon the amount of money you embezzled before being caught. Typically, the following acts are considered to be embezzlement:
- Pocketing the money paid by a customer without recording the transaction
- Check kiting
- Writing bad checks
- Transferring funds
- Collecting paychecks for fake employees
Embezzlement can be either a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the value and type of property embezzled. The punishments for embezzlement range in severity and include prison time and fines. For example, embezzling less than $500 not from a person is punishable by less than one year in prison and up to $2,500 in fines, while embezzlement of over $1 million is a felony punishable with up to 30 years in prison with fines up to $25,000.
What Potential Defenses Do I Have?
If you are charged with embezzlement, the criminal case assembled against you can seem insurmountable. However, a skilled lawyer can examine your case, put together a defense, and get the charges levied against you reduced or dropped altogether. The following are some defenses that can be used in your favor:
- Insufficient Evidence: If there is not enough evidence to prosecute a criminal case, the charges can be dropped.
- Duress: Duress is when someone is pressured to commit a crime, believing that if they don’t, some harm or danger will come to their person. If you have been put under duress and felt forced to commit the crime of embezzlement, contact a professional attorney now.
- Insanity: Although uncommon, pleading insanity is a possible defense for the embezzlement charges against you. Pleading insanity means you were temporarily mentally unstable to the extent that you did not have total control over your actions.
- Entrapment: Entrapment defenses are used when the defendant was “baited” to commit embezzlement by the government.
- Incapacitation: If you were incapacitated, by medicine or a sudden health crisis for example, and therefore had impaired judgment or faculties leading to you unwittingly embezzling, the charges against you could be dropped.
- Absence of Intent: If you did not intend to commit the offense of embezzlement, the charges against you could be dropped. For example, if you believed that you were the owner of the property or money accused of being embezzled, the charges against you could be dismissed.
Charges of embezzlement are not insurmountable. In criminal cases, the burden of proof is on the prosecution, and they must prove your guilt within a reasonable doubt. That means that all you and your lawyer have to do is introduce some level of doubt into the case. An experienced lawyer will examine your case in detail and work diligently to assemble your defense and minimize your potential sentence. In the United States, you are innocent until proven guilty. At Bruno Law Offices, we are passionate about defending that right and seeing your case through to the best possible outcome.
Criminal charges such as embezzlement leave a lasting mark on your life. Not only do they have the potential to remain on your record, but the evidence collection, negotiations, and court proceedings place an emotional tax on you and your family. It is imperative to have an experienced professional to guide you through this difficult period. If you or someone you know is being accused of embezzlement, don’t wait to hire a skilled theft and fraud attorney to help you navigate the charges against you. Contact Bruno Law Offices at (217) 328-6000 today.