An embezzlement charge could put your career and your freedom in jeopardy. Building a strong defense against embezzlement may require extensive legal knowledge and research, which can be time-consuming.

If you are facing allegations, a Mount Pleasant embezzlement lawyer could lift the burden of defending your own case. An experienced criminal defense attorney in your area could advocate on your behalf to help protect your rights. Reach out today to learn how a criminal defense attorney could help your case.

What is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is classified as a type of fraud, defined as the lawful possession of another person’s assets which are then converted for personal use with no intention of returning the assets to the rightful owner.

Embezzlement usually refers to the misappropriation of money. For example, someone may solicit funds for investing, but instead of investing the money, they keep it for themselves.

It is common for public officials to be involved in embezzlement cases. The official might receive public funds and misappropriate or keep the money, deceiving the public who believed that their money was in good hands.

Conversion is a key aspect of embezzlement, which is the taking away of an owner’s property and depriving them of their property rights. Conversion might ensue in the following ways:

  • Selling the property
  • Using up the value of the property
  • Permanently withholding the property from the owner
  • Damaging the property

Embezzlement Under the South Caroline Code

South Carolina Code of Laws §16-13-230 states that any person who commits a breach of trust, such as embezzlement, with fraudulent intent is guilty of larceny. However, the statute also lists the criminal elements for public embezzlement under §16-13-210. Under South Carolina law, it is unlawful for an officer or person with authority to safeguard, transfer, and disburse public funds to embezzle funds.

Defendants fighting embezzlement charges must understand the law so that an attorney can accurately build their case. A lawyer in Mount Pleasant could help the accused navigate the statutes discussed in this section.

Penalties for Embezzlement in Mount Pleasant

The penalties for embezzlement vary depending on the case and amount of money embezzled. Under §16-13-230, those charged with a breach of trust of two thousand dollars or less could face a misdemeanor charge amounting to no more than one thousand dollars in fines or up to thirty days in prison.

Those accused of the embezzlement of more than two thousand and up to ten thousand dollars face felony charges punishable by fines or incarceration for up to five years. Defendants accused of embezzling ten thousand dollars or more may face a felony conviction, resulting in fines or up to ten years in prison.

To avoid a conviction, an embezzlement lawyer in Mount Pleasant would have to prove to the jury that the prosecution failed to provide enough evidence of the defendant’s guilt.

Consider Contacting a Mount Pleasant Embezzlement Attorney Today

An embezzlement charge, especially one involving a large sum of money, should not be taken lightly. Embezzlement accusations could negatively affect a person’s reputation, and a conviction could lead to time in prison.

Fighting an embezzlement charge may not be straightforward and proving innocence might require a complicated legal strategy. A Mount Pleasant embezzlement lawyer could help you navigate the court system and work towards a favorable resolution of your charges. To learn more about how an attorney could fight for your rights, call and schedule a consultation.