Many Colorado residents hold jobs where they are responsible for handling other people’s money or property. If they keep that money or property for themselves rather than using it for its intended purpose, they may be charged with embezzlement. This is a serious charge that can have severe consequences if one is ultimately convicted.
In order for prosecuting attorneys to achieve a conviction, they have to prove that certain elements exist in an embezzlement case. The first element is that a fiduciary relationship existed between the accused and the alleged victim. If that exists, then the following common elements may also have to be present:
- There must be evidence that the accused, through that relationship, took property.
- There must be evidence that the accused took ownership of the property or gave it to someone else.
- There must be proof that the defendant intended to take the property from the rightful owner.
Is it possible to defend oneself against embezzlement charges? Some may think not, but that is not true. If it is possible to disprove any of these or any other elements that the state or federal governments require for conviction, it may be possible to achieve a case dismissal or, at least, a reduction in charges.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can assist Colorado residents who are facing embezzlement charges by reviewing their case details, questioning any evidence offered against them and looking for ways to poke holes in the prosecution’s case. Fighting the charges to seek a case dismissal may be an option. For some, however, seeking a charge and penalty reduction may be the best way to approach the situation. Every case is different. Legal counsel can help the client make the best decision for his or her specific circumstances.