Embezzlement is typically characterized as a white-collar crime in large corporate environments, but the truth is that anyone can commit this offense in any setting. Embezzlement occurs when someone fraudulently misappropriates assets allocated to them, typically by an employer. When charged with this crime, a particular burden of proof must be met to prove it occurred beyond a reasonable doubt.
Criminal Defense Attorney Brian P. Gabriel has successfully defended clients against embezzlement charges by implementing proven legal strategies that have helped clients facing the most challenging cases to beat their charges.
Elements Required to Prove Embezzlement in Florida
Proving embezzlement in Florida requires a few key components that clarify the nature of this crime. Here’s what you need to know.
Must Show the Crime Was Embezzlement and Not Theft
The prosecution must prove that the crime was embezzlement and not theft. Theft is the removal of something without the owner’s consent. Embezzlement occurs when the victim gives the property to someone and it is used fraudulently. Therefore, the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove that the victim owned the property or funds and willingly gave them to the defendant before the alleged fraud occurred.
The Trust Factor
Another component required to prove embezzlement is the element of trust. The prosecution must show that the victim gave you the property in question because they trusted you and you then utilized it fraudulently or unlawfully. It is not enough to show that the victim allocated the property to you without underscoring the element of trust in the equation.
Property Was for Your Benefit
Proving embezzlement in Florida requires proof that the stolen property was used for personal benefit. This also requires evidence of fraud, which is characterized by a misinterpretation of pertinent information to the property owner in question. This may include falsifying information or omitting it entirely.
There is Proof of Criminal Intent
The final element necessary to prove embezzlement in Florida is the presence of criminal intent. This component is essential because it protects individuals who may have unintentionally engaged in an action that resulted in fraud or embezzlement, but the act in question was an honest mistake.
Common Criminal Defense Strategies Employed in Embezzlement Cases
Common criminal defense strategies will take the elements required to prove embezzlement and use evidence and resources to show that these elements were not present in this crime. The goal is to get the embezzlement charges significantly reduced or dropped entirely based on the prosecution’s inability to prove this crime.
For example, if you have been charged with embezzlement of funds from your workplace but your employer never allocated those funds to you specifically and rather to a co-worker who orchestrated the scheme, you may not be charged with embezzlement. You may have participated in the theft, but your employer never trusted you to handle the money in the first place.
Reach Out to an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney Today If You are Facing Embezzlement Charges
While the burden of proof in embezzlement cases is high, you don’t want to take any chances with your freedom. Because Florida has strict laws where white-collar crimes are concerned, it is imperative to work with a seasoned criminal defense attorney who has experience helping clients in situations similar to yours. Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gabriel has spent over 30 years helping clients resolve embezzlement cases successfully. He will handle your case using all the knowledge and skill developed over the span of his career.
Start with a free consultation today by calling Criminal Defense Attorney Brian Gabriel of The Law Office of Gabriel & Gabriel at (561) 622-5575. You can also complete an online contact form to learn more.