If you face charges for embezzlement, you also face serious penalties if convicted for this crime. For example, a conviction for embezzlement carries heavy fines and the potential for prison time.
According to the Legal Information Institute, embezzlement involves taking property from someone else who entrusts it to you. Although embezzlement is a serious crime, there are defenses you can use to mitigate the charges against you.
Exhibit you do not take the funds
You can find evidence that proves you were not the one who stole the funds. Or you can show that you took the money to use for legitimate business purposes instead of for your personal gain.
Argue you were under duress
Even if you did commit embezzlement, you could argue that you did so under conditions of duress. For example, you can show that you thought harm would come to yourself or your family if you did not participate in the embezzlement scheme.
Show there was no intent to commit a crime
You may be able to show that you believed the stolen property was yours or you were unsure of who it belonged to. For the court to view the crime as embezzlement, intent to steal the funds must exist.
If you have any form of financial authority within a company, charges for embezzlement may occur even if you are not the one who stole the property. Ultimately, you need to show that someone misplaced the funds or property without any intent to use them for personal purposes.