Embezzlement is a severe crime that can come with serious consequences.
In Michigan, authorities treat embezzlement charges with a high degree of seriousness due to the breach of trust involved. If the courts charged you with embezzlement, it is important to understand what it is and what to expect.
Understanding the charge of embezzlement
Embezzlement occurs when a person who has legal access to someone else’s money or property steals it for personal gain. The offender often occupies a position of trust, making the crime a violation of both legal and personal trust.
Determining the severity of the charge
In Michigan, the severity of an embezzlement charge varies based on the amount of money or the value of the property involved. For amounts less than $200, it is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a fine of $500 or three times the amount embezzled, whichever is more. The penalties escalate with the amount involved, reaching up to 20 years in prison and fines up to $50,000 or three times the amount embezzled for amounts over $100,000.
Consequences beyond legal penalties
Apart from potential imprisonment and hefty fines, an embezzlement charge can have far-reaching effects on an individual’s life. It can lead to job loss and difficulty finding future employment, especially in positions of trust. Moreover, it may cause damage to personal relationships due to the breach of trust involved.
Defenses against embezzlement charges
While facing an embezzlement charge can be daunting, the prosecution may use several defenses depending on the specifics of the case. These could include lack of intent to embezzle, insufficient evidence or claiming that you were under duress when the alleged embezzlement took place.
Facing an embezzlement charge is a big hurdle to get over. However, understanding the nature of the charges can help you to navigate their situation effectively so you can protect your rights.