Summerville Embezzlement Lawyer

Many of the criminal accusations that people face in Summerville involve charges of theft. It is illegal to take property another’s property to deprive the true owner of its use. If convicted, individuals may face serious consequences. This is especially the cases involving embezzlement. Embezzlement accusations arise when a defendant has permission to hold the property from the owner but uses that property in an unapproved way. This can apply both to private property and funds that are the property of the State.

If you have been arrested and charged for embezzlement, an experienced and local fraud attorney in your community could help your case. A seasoned Summerville embezzlement lawyer could investigate the accusation and help you fight back against the charges.

Embezzlement as Common Theft

In Summerville, it is illegal to take any property that a person does not own. Most accusations that involve embezzlement fall under the state’s core larceny statute. It is important to understand what the law means when it uses the term embezzlement to craft a proper defense.

People can only commit embezzlement if they have the permission of the property owner to hold the items in question. This can include both physical property, such as a cell phone, and money. Embezzlement occurs when a person has possession of a property but uses it in a way in which the owner does not approve. For example, an employee for a roofing company may take a company truck to and from work sites with the owner’s permission. However, if that employee uses the truck to take a person out to dinner on the weekend, this is embezzlement.

Convictions here vary in severity based on the value of the items in question. All theft valued at $2,000 or less is petit larceny, a misdemeanor under South Carolina Code §16-13-30 (A). Once the value rises above $2,000, theft becomes a felony with a maximum penalty of ten years imprisonment if the value climbs to $10,000 or more. A Summerville embezzlement attorney could provide more information about common embezzlement as a theft offense.

Special Laws that Cover Public Funds

There are special provisions in the law that concern the alleged embezzlement of public money. Under SC Code §16-13-210, an officer or other public employee who has the authority to keep or discharge public funds must not embezzle that money. This can include police officers, city workers, and accountants working for the government.

Convictions here are especially harsh. Embezzlement of public funds is always a felony, and a conviction disqualifies the person from ever holding public office in the State. In addition, a court may order a party to pay back the amount involved in the alleged embezzlement and can sentence the person to a prison term of up to ten years.

To demonstrate embezzlement, a prosecutor must prove that not only did the funds move in an inappropriate manner, but also that the defendant intended to misuse the funds. As a result, a Summerville embezzlement attorney could present evidence in court that the improper transfer of funds was a simple mistake or that the defendant thought that they had permission to make the move.

Contact a Summerville Embezzlement Lawyer Today

Charges that allege embezzlement are serious matters. In many instances, these charges fall under the umbrella of larceny where a conviction can result in the payment of heavy fines and lengthy jail sentences. If the allegations involve the misuse of public funds, the offense is always a felony, and the fine can be equal to the amount of cash involved in the charge.

It is vital that you take steps to protect your freedom and reputation. Hiring a Summerville embezzlement lawyer is a step in the right direction. An attorney can work to explain the concept of embezzlement under the law and what led to the arrest. They can then analyze the prosecutor’s case to craft a defense that fits your specific case. Finally, they can work to obtain evidence that could raise reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors. Reach out to a Summerville embezzlement lawyer today to see how an attorney could help you fight your case.