Rockville Embezzlement Lawyer
Under Maryland law, embezzlement falls under the umbrella of theft offenses. In a nutshell, embezzlement is a type of financial fraud that involves the unauthorized taking or use of another person’s property or money, with the intention of depriving that person of the property or money on either a temporary or permanent basis.
Many crimes involving financial fraud and embezzlement are prosecuted in federal court, rather than in state court. If you have been charged with embezzlement in the State of Maryland, you need skilled and knowledgeable legal representation in the form of a Rockville embezzlement lawyer on your side throughout your entire case.
When Does Embezzlement Become a Federal Offense?
People who work for the United States government who are charged with embezzlement will likely be facing federal charges. Embezzlement becomes a federal offense if it involves assets owned by the federal government, including money, property, and records, as well as goods meant for counterfeiting such as a plate used for printing currency.
Additionally, healthcare fraud or embezzling from a program that receives more than $10,000 a year in federal funds may also result in federal charges. When someone in Rockville is facing federal embezzlement charges, they should act fast to retain a skilled defense attorney.
Burden of Proof in an Embezzlement Case
In an embezzlement case, the prosecution has the burden of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt” – or beyond a doubt based upon ordinary reason and common sense.
In order for the prosecution to prove its case, it must show that the defendant intentionally spent, used, or took certain property that was entrusted to the defendant by an employer or superior and that the defendant did so without the employer or superior’s permission or consent.
Severity of Penalties
The penalties associated with a crime of embezzlement are typically based upon the following:
- The value of the property which the defendant took or misappropriated.
- The amount or quantity of the property which the defendant took or misappropriated.
Defenses to an Embezzlement Charge
Every criminal charge has one or more legal defenses associated with it. If a Rockville embezzlement attorney is able to successfully argue a valid legal defense on the defendant’s behalf, then the defendant’s criminal charges may be dismissed in their entirety.
In the alternative, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to work out a successful plea deal with the prosecution, which may result in a period of probation, as opposed to jail time, for the defendant.
A criminal defendant who has been charged with embezzlement or some other form of financial fraud may be able to assert one or more of the following legal defenses:
- That the defendant held a good faith belief of entitlement to possess the subject money or property or that the defendant, in fact, owned the subject money or property.
- That the defendant’s employer or supervisor consented to the defendant’s use or possession of the subject money or property.
- That the defendant’s employer or supervisor entrusted the subject money or property to the defendant.
Seeking Legal Representation from a Rockville Embezzlement Lawyer
Embezzlement and other white-collar crimes involving financial fraud are penalized harshly in Maryland, and time may be of the essence in your case.
If you have been charged with a crime of fraud or embezzlement, it is important that you not speak to the police or investigators until after you have spoken with a Rockville embezzlement lawyer about your case. An attorney can safeguard your legal rights and can help you formulate good legal defenses to your embezzlement charge.