If you've been accused of embezzlement in the Miami, Florida area, please realize this is a serious crime that can result in stiff penalties including a long prison term. The services of a Miami criminal attorney are necessary to ensure proper representation in court if your charges result in a trial. Some Miami area attorneys also serve the Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach areas if you live closer to these cities.
Know the Various Charges and Possible Outcomes
Embezzlement is defined as a crime that breaches the confidence and trust of a company or individual to gain or misuse properties or money. There are several types of embezzlement, including certain cases of mail theft by a postmaster or mail carrier. Title 18, Chapter 31 of the U.S. Code describes the different types of embezzlement. Embezzlement is often labeled as a "white collar" felony, and the severity of sentencing depends on the amount of money or value of items stolen as well as the person's position in a company or organization. As a broad term used for a number of crimes, the word embezzlement may be used to refer to identity theft, check fraud, property theft, and credit card fraud.
The Miami or Fort Lauderdale criminal attorney you choose should be ready and able to help with the type of embezzlement charges you are facing. Question the attorney about his/her experience with your type of case. How has he/she fared in previous similar trials? How many clients have been able to avoid a court trial altogether through settlements or plea bargains? Ask the tough questions now so you'll feel confident with the Miami criminal attorney you choose.
Possible Legal Consequences of an Embezzlement Conviction
Another quality to look for in a criminal attorney is that he/she be able to discern the possible legal consequences for your particular charges. Ask your attorney to explain the worst-case scenario as well as the least possible sentencing so you'll be prepared to face either side of our justice system.
If convicted of an embezzlement crime, you could face a long prison term, parole or probation, a mandatory court order to attend counseling, loss of your rights to be bonded as a business owner or employer, restitution to any victims involved, and other court ordered fines. Even if you don't have to serve time in prison, embezzlement can still mar your career and reputation for life.
Whether you're facing minor embezzlement charges (just hundreds of dollars) or immense embezzlement charges (where thousands or millions of dollars are involved), you'll need the guidance of a knowledgeable, experienced Miami criminal lawyer to help minimize the damages to you and your family. Look for a Miami, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach criminal lawyer that specializes in white collar crime cases to ensure the best possible defense.
When Falsely Accused...
If you've been falsely accused of embezzlement, the right Miami criminal attorney can help you prove innocence. There are a number of ways to do this. One, your lawyer may be able to prove there was no relationship or position of trust between you and your accuser. Two, you may have already owned the property or money in question. Three, attorneys can sometimes show that there is insufficient evidence for a conviction. Lastly, he may be able to show that your actions were consistent with the agreed upon relationship between you and the accuser.
Other qualities to look for when choosing a criminal lawyer:
* Listens carefully to your needs and explanations
* Asks lots of questions to dig deep into the case
* Makes procedures and questions that might come up in court very clear to you and other involved parties
* Looks for every possible means within the law to help you receive a favorable outcome
* Understands the importance of early preparation
* Works with you in your financial situation to reduce the burden
If you're not sure where to start your search, go online and type in keywords specific to your needs. For example, type "West Palm Beach criminal lawyer," "Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer," or "embezzlement lawyer in Florida" to find a lawyer based on your charges and/or location. This will narrow your search, and help you find the websites of various lawyers so you can compare their services online. Make a few calls and notice the professionalism and mannerisms of the receptionist. This is your first impression of any firm and a starting point. Now you're ready to meet with a criminal lawyer or maybe even a few to make your final determination.
Though there are no guarantees when faced with embezzlement charges, hiring a reputable criminal attorney in the Miami area will definitely ease the burden.