How A Lawyer For Embezzlement Can Help You

If you have been arrested for embezzlement or you are being investigated, you need an experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer to protect your legal rights. The punishment for an embezzlement conviction can be severe, and you could face costly consequences for the rest of your life. Even though embezzlement is considered a white-collar crime, you need to take the matter very seriously and act accordingly.

Contact The Clark Law Office by telephone at 517-347-6900 to schedule a free legal consultation with a Michigan embezzlement defense attorney. You must be very careful what you say to law enforcement officers and investigators. Anything you say could be turned around and used against you at trial. It is best to exercise your right to remain silent until you have consulted with an attorney.

How Does Michigan Law Define Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is theft, but some of the elements of embezzlement make it different from other types of theft crimes. Embezzlement involves trust and fraud as key elements of the crime.  The person can be an employee, but embezzlement also applies to individuals in unpaid positions.

For you to be found guilty of embezzlement, the prosecution must provide sufficient efficient to prove:

  • Property or money that belongs to the principal was stolen;
  • You held a position of trust with the principal (i.e. employee, representative, agent, etc.);
  • Because of your relationship with the principal, you had control of the money or property in question;
  • You converted the money or property for your own use or your concealed the money or property with the intent to convert it for your own use;
  • You did not have the permission of the principal to convert the money or property; and,
  • At the time you converted the property, your intent was to cheat or defraud the principal.

You may be thinking that this sounds a lot like theft or larceny. However, the element of “trust” is what makes this crime different from other theft crimes. The principal has placed a level of trust in you to manage property or money for the principal’s benefit and not for your own. Employees and agents are often charged with embezzlement because of the “trust” placed in these individuals.

What are the Penalties for an Embezzlement Conviction in Michigan?

The punishment for embezzlement is directly related to the amount of money you converted for your own use, whether you have prior convictions for embezzlement, and whether the victim is a nonprofit or charitable organization.

Penalties for embezzlement of money or property from a private party are:

  • Under $200 is a misdemeanor — A maximum of 93 days in jail and a fine of $500 or three times the amount embezzled, whichever amount is greater.
  • Between $200 and $1,000 is a misdemeanor — A maximum of one year in jail and a fine of $1,000 or three times the amount embezzled, whichever amount is greater.
  • Between $1,000 and $20,000 is a felony — A maximum of five years in jail and a fine of $10,000 or three times the amount embezzled, whichever amount is greater.
  • Between $20,000 and $50,000 is a felony — A maximum of 10 years in jail and a fine of $15,000 or three times the amount embezzled, whichever amount is greater.
  • Between $50,000 and $100,000 is a felony — A maximum of 15 years in jail and a fine of $25,000 or three times the amount embezzled, whichever amount is greater.
  • More than $100,000 is a felony — A maximum of 20 years in jail and a fine of $50,000 or three times the amount embezzled, whichever amount is greater.

If the victim is a non-profit or charitable organization or you have a previous conviction for embezzlement, the punishment could be higher for some levels.

Do You Need a Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer?

If you are facing an embezzlement charge, you definitely need an experienced criminal defense attorney. The attorneys of The Clark Law Office want to help you develop a strong defense strategy that will give you the best chance of obtaining the most positive outcome possible given the facts of your case.  Contact our office by telephone at 517-347-6900 to schedule your free legal consultation with a Michigan criminal law attorney.