If you’ve been charged with a white-collar crime like embezzlement, you need to know how to aggressively defend yourself. If you don’t, you could end up facing harsh penalties that include an extensive amount of incarceration, ruinous fines and a criminal record that may haunt you far into the future.
But figuring out how to build your defense can be intimidating, especially if investigators and prosecutors have compiled a significant amount of evidence against you. But don’t bow down to what they’re arguing. Instead, make sure that you utilize the defense options at your fingertips so that you can aggressively push back against them and protect your interests.
The defense options that may be available to you
You might have several defenses available to you. However, here are some of the most common:
- Lack of intent: In order to convict you, the prosecution is going to have to prove that you intended to take the money in question for your own personal gain. In some of these instances, assets are misappropriated due to nothing more than miscommunication or misunderstanding. Therefore, you should focus on gathering evidence that minimizes the prosecution’s attempts to show that your actions were intentional.
- Good faith taking: Again, looking at intent, you might be able to beat the charges levied against you if you can show that you honestly believed that your actions didn’t constitute a crime. So, consider whether you believed at the time that the actions that you took were serving a legitimate business purpose or if the circumstances show that you thought that your actions were appropriate given the facts at hand.
- The statute of limitations has run out: Criminal charges have to be filed within a certain period of time. If the prosecutors fail to bring those charges quickly enough, you may be able to get them all dismissed.
- Attacking witness credibility: The prosecution is probably going to rely extensively on witness testimony to show your intent. But these witnesses might have other motivations, or they may be biased against you for some reason. If that’s the case, you might want to look at ways to attack the credibility of those witnesses so that you can reduce the amount of weight that the judge and jury give their testimony.
- Suppressing evidence: Some physical evidence might be used against you, too. Some of this evidence might be overly prejudicial, or it may have been improperly collected and stored. If you can show any of these issues, you may be able to have the court block the evidence from being used against you.
- Focusing on amount: The penalties that you end up facing on an embezzlement conviction depend on the amount of money that was allegedly taken. Therefore, one of your last defense options as far as penalties are concerned is to argue that the amount that was intentionally taken is far less than the prosecution claims.
Do you need help with your criminal defense?
The consequences of a criminal conviction can be broad and long lasting. To protect your interests as fully as possible, you need to know how to aggressively defend yourself. A criminal defense attorney who is experienced in handling embezzlement cases may be able to assist you here, which is why now may be the best time for you to consider your representation options. By fully researching them, you can choose the legal team that you think will give the prosecution the fight they deserve.