It can be an extremely frightening experience to be charged with embezzlement. Depending on the situation, your charges could be state, or they could be federal—which is even more frightening. Whether you are innocent of the charges, or whether you made a one-time mistake, you deserve to have your story heard. You also deserve a strong legal advocate who will fight for you every step of the way. When you choose a Centerville embezzlement defense lawyer from Horwitz & Horwitz, you have taken an important first step in safeguarding your future. We provide quality service to every client, always with a personal touch.
Why Choose a Centerville Embezzlement Defense Lawyer from Horwitz & Horwitz?
At Horwitz & Horwitz we understand that you have choices when searching for an embezzlement defense lawyer. We hope you will give our firm a chance to show you why we are, hands-down, the best firm for you during this stressful time in your life. Our firm has been in business for 13 years; between our two lawyers, we have 53 years of combined experience. Attorney Jonathan Horwitz is a former prosecutor who prosecuted a wide variety of felony cases for over 10 years; four of those years were focused on white-collar crimes like embezzlement.
At Horwitz & Horwitz, we enjoy helping people get through hard times in their lives in the best way possible. We are always open and direct with our clients while putting their interests front and center. Attorneys Barbara and Jonathan Horwitz take pride in providing the best possible legal representation at a reasonable price, giving straightforward advice, and never making promises we can’t keep. Because of these qualities, our clients trust our representation, knowing we will fight for them.
What is Embezzlement?
The theft of money or property by a person who has been entrusted with that money or property is known as embezzlement. Embezzlement is a white-collar crime that often involves an individual in a position of authority taking advantage of that position for personal gain. As an example, an employee who is entrusted with making the bank deposit for a company and who is “skimming” some cash off the top has committed the crime of embezzlement. In the state of Ohio, the specific charges and resulting penalties for this offense will depend on the value of the stolen property.
A person who embezzles is usually in a position of trust yet uses that trust to take money or property for themselves. The element of embezzlement that sets it apart from “regular” theft, or shoplifting is access to the money or property, and lack of legal ownership. A breach of trust between the person accused of embezzlement and the owner of the business is inherent in embezzlement charges.
What Are the Potential Consequences of an Embezzlement Conviction in Ohio?
The charges you will face if you are suspected of embezzlement will depend on the value of the stolen money or property. You could be charged with a misdemeanor if the stolen money or property is worth $1,000 or less. Embezzlement of any amount over $1,000 pushes the offense into a felony. Should you be convicted of misdemeanor embezzlement, you could spend up to 180 days in jail, and be assessed fines as large as $1,000. If the property or money you took is valued between $1,000 and $7,499, you are facing a fifth-degree felony with a potential sentence upon conviction of a fine as large as $2,000 and up to one year in jail.
If the money or property you took has a value between $7,500 and $149,999, you are facing a fourth-degree felony. If you are convicted, you could be sentenced from 6-18 months in jail, and a maximum fine of $5,000. When the money or property you took has a value between $150,000 and $749,999, you are facing a third-degree felony, with penalties from nine months to three years in prison and fines as large as $10,000 if convicted.
Theft of property or money valued between $750,000 and $1,499,999 is a second-degree felony and can result in from 2-8 years in prison, and fines as large as $15,000. Embezzlement of more than $1.5 million is a first-degree felony; a conviction can bring from 3-11 years in prison, and a fine as large as $20,000. The penalties associated with embezzlement may also vary depending on the actual property stolen, and whether the theft was from a protected class.
This “protected class” of people includes the elderly, disabled adults, or active-duty service members and their spouses. If convicted for embezzlement involving a protected class, every level is bumped up one level. As an example, a misdemeanor offense becomes a fifth-degree felony, and a fifth-degree felony becomes a fourth-degree felony. If the embezzlement involves firearms, it is an automatic third-degree felony, regardless of the worth of the firearms.
If the embezzlement involves a motor vehicle or a dangerous drug, it is an automatic fourth-degree felony. Embezzlement of a police dog or horse is charged as a third-degree felony. In addition to the legal penalties associated with an embezzlement conviction, a felony conviction can cause you to have significant difficulty obtaining employment and can make it difficult or impossible for you to rent a home, obtain a federal student loan, secure a professional license, or own a firearm.
What Are Some Common Defenses of Embezzlement?
If you were arrested for embezzlement, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced Centerville embezzlement defense lawyer from Horwitz & Horwitz as quickly as possible. While your specific defense will depend on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, some of the more common defenses include:
- There is insufficient evidence to support your charges
- The crime you are accused of committing was the result of duress
- You had no intent to commit the crime of embezzlement
- A search and seizure of evidence was done without a warrant or was otherwise illegal
- You were not properly Mirandized or you were denied access to a lawyer
How Can a Knowledgeable Centerville Embezzlement Defense Lawyer from Horwitz & Horwitz Help?
When you choose an experienced Centerville embezzlement defense lawyer from Horwitz & Horwitz, you have chosen highly trained professionals who will know how to properly defend your charges, ensuring the best outcome possible. Don’t leave your charges of embezzlement to chance—contact a highly skilled criminal defense attorney from Horwitz & Horwitz today.