Accusations of criminal activity could change someone’s life. A person accused of embezzlement by an employer or another party might worry about facing prison time if found guilty in a California courtroom. Although someone faces criminal charges, that does not mean they are truly guilty of the crime. A strong defense may point to innocence.
Defending embezzlement charges
Embezzlement is a form of theft involving stealing funds from a person or entity that had trusted the accused. For example, someone involved with a charitable organization may falsify expense reports and divert money to their personal accounts.
Embezzlement takes other forms, but the misappropriation of funds from an individual in a position of trust remains a common element. The prosecution must prove specific elements to acquire a guilty verdict or credible charges.
Defenses against embezzlement charges
As with other white-collar crimes, prosecutors must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt to secure a guilty verdict. If the defense raises credible doubts about the veracity of the acquisition, an acquittal may be possible.
An essential element to prove during an embezzlement prosecution is deliberate intent. Negligence does not reflect deliberate intent, although a negligent party may face civil charges for any losses they cause. Regardless, proving the lack of intent could undermine a prosecutor’s case if the accused made an egregious error that misappropriated funds and did so by accident.
In some cases, issues may arise with the evidence because of the defendant’s constitutional rights violations. A lack of a search warrant or federal agent misconduct could render evidence inadmissible. A guilty verdict could prove highly doubtful if the prosecutor cannot enter critical evidence into the record.