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3 common defenses to embezzlement

On Behalf of | Mar 11, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Embezzlement occurs if you take the personal property of someone else when he or she entrusts it to you. In most cases, embezzlement involves the misappropriation of money. 

According to the Legal Information Institute, you can commit embezzlement whether you keep the property or transfer it to another party. If you face charges for embezzlement, there are several potential defenses you could use while arguing your case. 

1. You took the money for legitimate business purposes

You may have taken the money from your company for an authorized reason to conduct business instead of doing so for your own gain. You will have to prove that reasonable business purposes for taking the money existed and that you did not do anything with the funding for personal gain. 

2. You did not intend to commit the crime

You may have embezzled funds while believing that you actually owned the embezzled property. For the court to consider the crime embezzlement, they have to prove you knew that the property you allegedly stole was not yours. 

3. You acted under duress

If you believed harm would come to you or a loved one if you did not embezzle, you could claim you acted under duress. For example, you may have participated in a situation where your boss would let you go if you did not engage in an embezzlement plot. 

The consequences for embezzlement can be serious and may include large fines and jail time. By gathering evidence to support your defense, you may be able to mitigate the charges against you.