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Castle Rock Embezzlement Lawyer

Arrested for Embezzlement?
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Being charged with embezzlement can be an extremely unsettling and stressful experience. These white-collar crime allegations can carry severe penalties like substantial fines and years in prison if convicted. Even if the charges are eventually dismissed, the accusation alone can damage your reputation, career, and finances.

However, just because you have been charged does not automatically mean you will be convicted. As Castle Rock embezzlement lawyers, our job is to build the strongest possible defense on your behalf. We will thoroughly examine the prosecution’s evidence and identify any weaknesses we can exploit. Our goal is either to get the charges against you dismissed entirely or to negotiate a plea deal to minimize the penalties if a conviction seems unavoidable.

What is Embezzlement?

The illegal misappropriation of money or assets by a person who has been entrusted with them is considered embezzlement under the law.

This offense, classified as a type of theft crime in Colorado, involves an individual taking funds or property, typically belonging to their employer or company, and using them unlawfully for personal gain or benefit.

Colorado statute C.R.S. § 18-4-403 allows for the substitution of “theft” with “embezzlement” when suitable, though there is a specific exception made in situations where public property has been embezzled unlawfully.

Potential Embezzlement Penalties in Colorado

In Colorado, embezzlement penalties can vary greatly depending on the value of funds or assets allegedly misused or stolen. Under state law C.R.S. 18-4-401, sentences and fines increase with the total value embezzled. The table below summarizes the sentencing guidelines:

Fine Range Offense Classification Potential Penalties
Under $300 Petty Offense Incarceration for up to 10 days and/or fines up to $300
$300 – $1,000 Class 2 Misdemeanor Incarceration for up to 120 days and/or fines up to $750
$1,000 – $2,000 Class 1 Misdemeanor Incarceration for up to 364 days and/or fines up to $1,000
$2,000 – $5,000 Class 6 Felony Prison term of 12 to 18 months and fines up to $100,000
$5,000 – $20,000 Class 5 Felony Prison term of 1 to 3 years and fines up to $100,000
$20,000 – $100,000 Class 4 Felony Prison term of 2 to 6 years and fines up to $500,000
$100,000 – $1 million Class 3 Felony Prison term of 4 to 12 years and fines up to $750,000
Over $1 million Class 2 Felony Prison term of 8 to 24 years and fines up to $1,000,000

In addition to fines and imprisonment, those convicted of embezzlement in Colorado may face the following additional penalties:

  • Restitution – The court can order repayment to the victim for all misused or stolen funds and assets. This is paid either upfront as part of sentencing or over time.
  • Probation – Courts can impose up to 10 years of probation following release from imprisonment. This involves strict supervision under a probation officer.
  • Community Service – The court may order the convicted individual to complete a certain number of community service hours.

There are also potential sentence-enhancing factors if certain conditions are met:

  • Elderly or Disabled Victim – The base sentence can be increased by 2-6 years if the victim is elderly or disabled.
  • Position of Trust – Abusing a position of trust can enhance the sentence by 2-4 years. This commonly applies to accountants, investment advisors, employees, and others with fiduciary duties.

castle rock criminal defense attorney

Burden of Proof on Prosecutors

In embezzlement cases, the prosecution bears the burden of proving all elements of the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. Our defense lawyers thoroughly analyze all prosecution evidence to identify potential weaknesses we can leverage.

We use various strategies to build the most robust possible defense, including:

  • Conducting in-depth forensic accounting reviews of all financial records, looking for omitted or unauthorized transactions that may have legitimate explanations. Even small gaps or inconsistencies in the paper trail can raise reasonable doubt.
  • Rigorously questioning all prosecution witnesses during cross-examination about inconsistencies, bias, credibility issues, or vagueness in their statements. We can often counter claims of unauthorized transactions.
  • Researching whether proper procedures were followed in the investigation. Identifying any technical errors like improper warrants or Miranda violations provides opportunities for evidence suppression or dismissal.
  • Exploring potential affirmative defenses based on lack of criminal intent, authorized loans, actions under counsel’s advice, or adherence to standard industry practices.
  • Negotiating with the prosecution if conviction seems unavoidable. We leverage our experience to secure plea bargains for lesser charges/penalties.

We aim to cast substantial doubt on the prosecution’s version of events and provide reasonable alternatives that make conviction less likely. We have an arsenal of defense strategies to secure the best outcome.

The Value of Local Experience – Choose a Castle Rock Criminal Lawyer

In Castle Rock, the legal dynamics surrounding embezzlement cases vary widely between judges and prosecutors. Even neighboring jurisdictions can have notable differences in norms and standards.

A criminal defense attorney experienced with Castle Rock’s specific courts, judges, and prosecutors will understand this jurisdiction’s unwritten rules and unique quirks. They’ll have insight into the D.A.’s typical strategies and where they tend to cut corners or make procedural mistakes.

This intimate familiarity with the local legal environment allows seasoned Castle Rock criminal defense lawyers to craft better-aligned defense strategies. They know which arguments resonate with judges and how to exploit the opposition’s weaknesses.

So, while charges should always be taken seriously, an experienced local law firm like ours has an advantage. We have a roadmap for how to build the most robust case and achieve the optimal outcome for clients facing accusations in Douglas County. Our expertise with local dynamics makes a significant difference.

Overcoming Evidentiary Challenges

Prosecutors will come armed with stacks of financial records, bank statements, and audit reports allegedly documenting fraudulent activity. However, any experienced defense lawyer knows that even the most solid-looking paper trail typically has holes.

In reality, financial records are rarely 100% complete. In the ordinary course of business, many routine transactions occur without proper documentation being generated at the time. Just because there’s no evidence of approval for a particular expenditure doesn’t mean it was unauthorized.

Skilled embezzlement defense attorneys leverage forensic accounting support to reconstruct incomplete records and tell the whole story. They can demonstrate potentially legitimate reasons for transactions that, on the surface, may appear suspicious without full context.

By highlighting gaps and inconsistencies in the prosecution’s documentation, we cast doubt on the definitiveness of their conclusions. A paper trail alone does not prove intent or culpability beyond a reasonable doubt. There is almost always more to the story.

Assessing Witness Credibility

Beyond documents, prosecutors frequently use testimony from colleagues, clients, and others involved with the accused. However, witness recollection of past conversations and permissions is notoriously unreliable.

Embezzlement lawyers scrutinize statements for inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and bias. Vague unauthorized transaction claims often can be countered with repayment records, character witnesses, and other evidence demonstrating a lack of criminal intent.

Don’t Let One Wrong Decision Impact Your Life, Job or Freedom.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does "embezzlement" actually cover under Colorado law?

The definition is broader than just theft of money. It covers unauthorized use of any property or thing of value entrusted to the person, including misuse of equipment, data, trade secrets, and more.

Can I be charged even if I intended to return or repay the funds/assets?

Yes. Embezzlement charges can be brought based on the unauthorized taking alone, regardless of intent to repay eventually.

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