Embezzlement Lawyer in Laredo
Trusted Embezzlement Defense for Financial Crime Allegations in Laredo
A conviction for embezzlement charges carries severe consequences that can cause significant damage to your professional reputation and personal life. If you find yourself confronted with embezzlement allegations or any other financial crime allegations in the Laredo area, swift and effective legal representation is crucial to protect your rights and interests.
Javier Guzman, founding attorney of Guzman Law Firm, is a dedicated embezzlement lawyer offering robust legal protection against embezzlement and other financial crime allegations. He understands the complexities of embezzlement cases and is committed to delivering a comprehensive, tailored defense strategy to counter these charges. With his legal assistance, you can confidently navigate the legal labyrinth that is white-collar crime charges and better safeguard your future.
What is embezzlement in Texas?
According to Texas Penal Code 31.02, embezzlement is the unlawful appropriation of funds or assets by an individual entrusted with them. To be considered embezzlement, the accused must have acted with criminal intent to defraud, and the taking of such property must not constitute theft.
More specifically, what are the elements of embezzlement in Texas? The four elements of embezzlement in Texas are:
- The accused must be trusted with the property or assets of the rightful owner.
- The accused must have obtained, converted, or fraudulently deprived the rightful owner of the property or assets.
- The act must have been done with criminal intent to defraud the rightful owner of the property or assets.
- The act must have been done without the consent or permission of the rightful owner.
Accusations of embezzlement can be brought against business executives, public officials, non-profits, and more. Your best bet to fight against charges of this nature is to hire the best Laredo federal defense attorney you can find.
Is embezzlement a felony?
Embezzlement isn’t always considered a felony in Texas. The severity of the charge and the corresponding penalties typically depend on the value of the property or funds embezzled.
Embezzlement of assets valued under $2,500 is categorized as a misdemeanor. However, embezzlement of property or funds exceeding that value is treated as a felony, with the severity of the charge ranging from a state jail felony for amounts between $2,500 and $30,000, to a first-degree felony for amounts exceeding $300,000.
The consequences of a felony conviction can be quite severe, potentially leading to imprisonment, significant fines, restitution payments to the victims of your embezzlement, and long-term damage to one’s reputation and career prospects.
What is the punishment for embezzlement in Texas?
The punishment for embezzlement in Texas depends on the value of the funds or assets taken.
Up to $100
Class C Misdemeanor
Up to $500
$100 – $750
Class B Misdemeanor
Up to $2,000
Up to 180 days
$750 – $2,500
Class A Misdemeanor
Up to $4,000
Up to 1 year
$2,500 – $30,000
State Jail Felony
Up to $10,000
1 – 2 years
$30,000 – $150,000
Third Degree Felony
Up to $10,000
2 – 10 years
$150,000 – $300,000
Second Degree Felony
Up to $10,000
2 – 20 years
$300,000 and up
First Degree Felony
Up to $10,000
2 – 99 years
Aggravating factors in embezzlement cases
In embezzlement cases, certain conditions or circumstances can exacerbate the severity of the charges and penalties. These are known as aggravating factors. In Texas, these factors may include:
- The value of the property or funds embezzled. The greater the value of the embezzled assets, the more serious the charges and penalties.
- Repeat offenders. Individuals with prior convictions for embezzlement or related crimes are likely to receive harsher sentences.
- Position of trust. If the accused held a position of trust or authority (such as a CEO or public official), this could aggravate the charges. Courts often view the abuse of such positions severely.
- The number of victims. If the embezzlement scheme has affected a large number of victims, this can also aggravate the charges and potential penalties.
- Impact on victims. The extent to which the embezzlement has caused financial hardship or distress to the victims can significantly affect the severity of the punishment.
- Specific conditions. Severity increases if money was embezzled from a non-profit, elderly individual, or vulnerable population, while acting as a public service, or while working for the government.
When faced with potential aggravating factors, it becomes even more critical to secure representation from an experienced embezzlement lawyer like Javier Guzman.
How is embezzlement proven?
To prove embezzlement, the prosecution must demonstrate beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had criminal intent and lacked authorization to take the property or funds in question. This is usually done through the following pieces of evidence:
- Financial records
- Bank statements
- Video or audio recordings
- Witnesses testimonies
The presence of mitigating factors such as substantial restitution payments or lack of prior criminal history may be considered in determining the severity of punishment.
What to do after being charged with embezzlement in Texas
Successfully contesting an embezzlement charge in Texas requires a robust and well-planned legal defense strategy. Key steps include:
- Retaining a skilled defense attorney. This is the most critical step in fighting an embezzlement charge. An experienced attorney can offer extensive knowledge of Texas state laws and valuable advice on how to navigate the legal process.
- Analyzing evidence. Your attorney will thoroughly review all evidence presented by the prosecution, looking for inconsistencies, inaccuracies, or potential violations of your rights that could lead to the suppression of evidence. This might include bank records, emails, video footage, or other physical evidence.
- Contesting intent. Intent is a key element in any embezzlement case. If your attorney can prove that there was no intent to defraud, the charges could be reduced or dismissed.
- Exploring potential defenses. These may include asserting that you believed you had a right to the funds or property or arguing that you were coerced into committing the act.
- Negotiating a plea deal. If the evidence against you is strong, your attorney may work to negotiate a plea deal that could help you avoid a conviction, or opt for lesser charges or reduced penalties.
- Going to trial. If the case goes to trial, your attorney will provide a vigorous defense and aggressively cross-examine prosecution witnesses.
Remember, every case is unique, and the best defense strategy will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your case. Therefore, it is essential to consult with a knowledgeable legal professional to discuss your options.
Get legal support from an experienced embezzlement lawyer in Laredo
Embezzlement accusations can be devastating, both personally and professionally. Fighting charges requires skill and knowledge of the law that only an experienced and dedicated embezzlement lawyer can have — so don’t go it alone. Contact Javier Guzman for experienced legal representation in Laredo and the surrounding areas. His notable victories speak for themselves. Javier’s help is your best chance at reducing or eliminating the charges and getting your life back.
Javier’s experience in federal defense extends far beyond embezzlement and includes complex, high-stakes areas like drug trafficking and human smuggling in Texas. He also has extensive knowledge and experience in civil cases and will fight for your family in family law or serious personal injury claims.