Whether you are charged in state or federal court, embezzlement charges are serious. It is a form of white-collar crime in which the defendant is accused of stealing money or property entrusted to them by the owner. Common examples include a financial advisor taking money out of a client’s bank account for their personal use, or a business’ accountant writing themselves checks out of the company account.
When someone is charged with embezzlement or another felony, they may panic and make several mistakes that ruin their chance to defend themselves properly. Here are four mistakes to avoid if you are ever arrested on embezzlement charges.
- Talking to the police without an attorney. You might think you can clear things up and prove your innocence by answering questions from investigators. But detectives are trained to get you to incriminate yourself. The Sixth Amendment gives you the right to be represented by an attorney during interrogations for a reason.
- Consenting to a search. To search your home, computer or personal property, the police generally need a search warrant. But there is an exception when the property owner gives consent to a warrantless search. You have the right to refuse such a search. If the police have enough evidence against you to get a warrant, they can get one.
- Talking to the alleged victim before trial. You might be tempted to contact the client or employer accusing you of embezzling to apologize or tell your side of the story. But anything you say might end up as evidence against you at trial.
- Not hiring a defense attorney right away. Once you hire a defense lawyer, they will get to work fighting for your rights. They will work to get you out of jail while the charges are pending and advise you of your legal options.
The last mistake is probably the most serious. A Twin Cities attorney experienced in criminal defense can help you avoid the first three mistakes, as well as several others.