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How Harsh Are Washington Embezzlement Charges?

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Embezzlement is a white-collar crime that involves the misappropriation of funds or property that one has been entrusted with, and it is a serious offense in Washington State. Facing embezzlement charges can be a life-altering experience, and a conviction could result in serious consequences such as prison time and fines.

In Washington state, embezzlement is aggressively prosecuted. The penalties for embezzlement can be severe and have long-lasting consequences on your life. If you are facing these charges, it is crucial to seek the assistance of an embezzlement defense attorney who can protect your rights and best interests.

What Is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is the act of wrongfully taking someone else’s money or property that has been entrusted to one’s care. This can happen in many ways, such as an employee stealing money from a company’s cash register, a financial advisor transferring funds from a client’s account into their own, or a trustee using the funds in a trust for their own personal gain.

Washington State Embezzlement Penalties

The penalties for embezzlement in Washington state depend on the value of the property or funds stolen. The higher the value, the more severe the embezzlement charges. Depending on this number, you could be charged with either a felony or a misdemeanor:

  • If the property or funds are worth less than $750, embezzlement is considered a gross misdemeanor, which can result in up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. 
  • If the property or funds are worth between $750 and $5,000, embezzlement is considered a class C felony, which can result in up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • If the property or funds are worth over $5,000, embezzlement is considered a class B felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.

Potential Defenses to Embezzlement Charges

There are several potential defenses that you could use to fight embezzlement charges. One common defense strategy is to argue that you did not intend to steal the property or funds, but instead made an honest mistake. Another approach is to argue that you believed you had a right to the property or funds, or that you were authorized to take them. Your lawyer can also challenge the prosecution’s evidence or argue that you were coerced into committing the crime.

The optimal defense strategy will depend on the facts of your case and the potential penalties that you are facing. In these situations, an embezzlement defense attorney can evaluate the evidence against you and determine which option is right for you.

Contact a Washington Embezzlement Defense Attorney Today

If you are facing charges of embezzlement in Washington state, you need an embezzlement defense attorney on your side. A conviction can radically disrupt your life, and you need an advocate who will fight to protect your rights and interests. 

An attorney with experience in embezzlement crimes can evaluate the facts of your case, develop a defense strategy, and work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. As soon as possible after your arrest, contact a Tacoma criminal defense lawyer today to discuss your case and plan your next steps.

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