Embezzlement involves the unlawful appropriation of money, usually a company or public funds, for personal use by someone entrusted with handling and protecting those funds. It is a serious felony offense that could result in imprisonment and a substantial fine upon conviction, as well as limited professional and political opportunities down the road.
Let a Summerville embezzlement and breach of trust lawyer represent you if you have been charged with appropriating funds. They could examine the case and prepare a legal defense for the charges made against you.
A practiced attorney could also safeguard your constitutional rights, including the right to a fair trial and a presumption of innocence until proven guilty. With dedicated legal counsel on your side, you could have someone in your corner advocating for your best interests and working to attain a positive outcome in your situation.
Embezzlement Laws in South Carolina
The offense of embezzlement involves the unlawful taking or misuse of money, funds, or other valuables with which a person was entrusted to safeguard. For example, a county treasurer who unlawfully funnels a portion of public funds into a personal bank account would be committing a breach of trust. Likewise, an investment banker who transfers company funds to a personal account has also committed embezzlement.
Laws prohibiting embezzlement and breach of trust in Summerville are found in the South Carolina Code of Laws Unannotated under Chapter 13 of Title 16. The code states that it is unlawful for anyone charged with safeguarding, transferring, or disbursing employer, client, or public funds to embezzle any of the money they are handling. Further, the law also states that if there is evidence indicating a person has failed to properly account for funds that were received, it is legally permissible to conclude that the money was fraudulently appropriated by that person.
Embezzling money or funds could result in felony criminal charges and prosecution, as well as imprisonment if convicted. A local legal advisor could answer questions about what actions constitute a breach of trust.
Summerville Penalties for a Breach of Trust
The penalties for committing embezzlement in Summerville vary based on the amount of funds allegedly appropriated. The penalties are more severe for offenses involving the funds in amounts exceeding ten thousand dollars.
The penalty upon conviction for embezzlement of ten thousand dollars or more is a prison sentence of up to ten years. A fine could also be imposed in an amount proportioned to the funds embezzled, as determined by the sentencing court.
A breach of trust in an amount that is less than ten thousand dollars is punishable by imprisonment for no more than five years, and a fine proportioned to the amount embezzled, as determined by the sentencing court.
Appealing Disqualification Status
Individuals convicted of embezzling public funds are disqualified from holding any paid office or office of honor in the state. However, this disqualification can be removed by a two-thirds vote in the General Assembly if the convicted individual repays the full amount embezzled, as well as any interest that could have accrued.
A legal representative in the area could explain the process by which the General Assembly could vote to remove a person’s disqualification status for holding certain types of office.
Contact a Summerville Embezzlement Attorney for Assistance
A conviction for embezzling funds could result in substantial fines and imprisonment. It could also result in limitations or restrictions on future employment opportunities or the ability to hold a public office position.
Seek representation from a Summerville embezzlement and breach of trust lawyer if you are facing charges as soon as possible. An attorney could develop a plan for achieving the best possible resolution to your situation. Contact for qualified legal representation today.