Embezzlement Defense Lawyer in Birmingham, AL
If you’ve been accused of embezzlement or you have reason to believe that you’re under investigation, it is time to talk to an embezzlement defense attorney—now. This is a serious crime that can result in prison time, massive fines and penalties, and the loss of future opportunities. By the time you realize that you’re at risk of criminal charges, the prosecutor already has plenty of evidence against you.
In Birmingham, Alabama, we have seen our fair share of embezzlement cases from Cindy Madison who stole from her employer back in 2019 to Larry James Black Jr and Joshua Daniel Powell, who stole from theirs in 2021. In both of these cases the suspect was given significant jail time.
It’s time to protect your rights and your future. The team at Kirk Drennan Law boasts extensive experience in the defense of white-collar crime charges, and we’re ready to fight for you. Schedule a consultation with our team now and find out how we can help. Call us at 205-803-3500 to set up a time now.
We Act Fast to Protect Your Future
When you’re accused of embezzlement, you’re being accused of misusing your position to benefit financially. You’re expected to manage or care for resources—perhaps as an employee or an executor of a will—and investigators claim that you used that role to siphon resources from the rightful owner.
This is a serious accusation, and a conviction could change the rest of your life. Not only could you have to pay restitution, pay sizable penalties, and serve a lengthy prison sentence, you could find yourself completely unemployable once you serve your time. Embezzlement charges carry a sizable stigma, and it’s in your best interest to fight them head-on.
Why is it so important to choose the attorneys at Kirk Drennan Law? We realize that we’re up against a running clock when you hire us. By the time you know about your embezzlement charges, they have been in the works for weeks or months. That gives the prosecution quite a head start, and it’s our goal to make up for lost time and build a strong defense for you.
Embezzlement is a crime that often leaves a strong paper trail. Even those who are extremely careful in their dealings generally leave some traceable activity behind, and this type of evidence is very hard to beat in court. No matter what evidence the prosecution has against you, you need to talk to an attorney about what your next steps should be.
There are lots of ways you can push back against embezzlement charges and protect your future. But to do that, you need an aggressive, committed attorney who is willing to fight for you. We can help.
State and Federal Embezzlement Charges
Our approach and your possible outcomes will depend on whether you’re facing state or federal charges. If you are accused of embezzling from a company’s board, you could be in violation of Alabama Professions and Business Code 34-13-7. This law states that it’s illegal to embezzle funds from a corporate board. Those convicted on these charges may pay up to $5,000 in fines and spend up to five years in prison. There is a minimum sentence of one year.
Federal embezzlement charges are detailed in Title 18 of the U.S. Criminal Code, Chapter 31. Why might you face federal charges? If your alleged crimes occurred in multiple states or involved other federal agencies, you’ll likely be tried on federal charges. For example, someone who uses the United States Postal Service to run an embezzlement scheme would almost certainly come under heavy federal scrutiny.
As is the case with any federal charges, embezzlement charges carry stiff penalties. Those who embezzle less than $1,000 may pay up to $1,000 in fines and spend up to one year in prison. Those convicted of embezzling more than $1,000 may pay penalties as high as $250,000 and spend up to ten years in federal prison.
Keep in mind that embezzlement charges may come with other charges that can increase your fines and your prison time. For example, using financial institutions or the U.S. Postal Service to commit theft can lead to even more severe penalties.
Different Types of Embezzlement
The term “embezzlement” is intentionally defined broadly in legal documents. There are many ways that one can steal from a corporation, person, or other entity, and the law is written to encompass all of them. As technology evolves, there are always more ways that someone can use their position of power to benefit themselves financially, and a broadly worded law makes it easier to charge and convict suspects.
However, embezzlement is often broken down into different categories that outline how a person conducts their alleged crimes. For example, computer-related embezzlement may occur if someone uses malware to skim money into their own banking accounts, automatically rounds transfers and has the extra deposited into their own account, or otherwise takes advantage of security weaknesses.
Those who have access to company credit cards may engage in credit embezzlement. This is fairly common and includes taking out cash advances on a company card, stealing from customers via their credit cards, or otherwise gaining access to funds illegally.
Of course, cash embezzlement is always an issue in businesses. Those who are responsible for doing cash deposits, using cash registers, or handling clients’ money may engage in embezzlement this way.
Possible Defenses Against Embezzlement
There are numerous defenses that may be a good fit for your case. Options we may explore include:
- Lack of intent. Embezzlement is a crime that requires intent. If you unintentionally misappropriated funds because of poor instructions or a miscommunication, no crime may have been committed.
- Crime committed under duress. If you or your family were threatened, you may have engaged in embezzlement to protect yourself and those close to you. Those who want to benefit from the commission of a crime without physically involving themselves in it may bring in others to do it for them. In this case, the person controlling you this way would be the real criminal.
- Mental incapacity. People who use certain medications or otherwise find themselves incapacitated may not be in the right mental state to commit a crime.
- Wrong person targeted. Those who embezzle often know how much of a paper trail it leaves. They may set up false clues to lead investigators to the wrong person. This could lead to the wrong person being charged.
Contact Kirk Drennan Law and Protect Your Rights
Whether you’re facing state or federal charges, the team at Kirk Drennan Law is ready to take on your case. The sooner you consult us, the more quickly we can begin building your case. Call us at 205-803-3500 or contact us online to get started.