If you are facing an embezzlement charge, you should take the necessary actions early on in your case to ensure that your rights are protected. These criminal charges carry significant monetary fines and time in prison, and a conviction could have a permanent impact on your personal and professional opportunities.
Fortunately, a Minnesota embezzlement lawyer could use their experience in this area of law to help you build a compelling defense. An experienced attorney could ensure that you are prepared to enter this kind of legal proceeding and address any concerns you may have about the process.
Arraignment for Embezzlement
Once an individual is charged with embezzlement, they must appear in court for an arraignment, and they are allowed to have an attorney present at this event. The arraignment offers a Minnesota embezzlement lawyer the first opportunity to communicate with the prosecutor and judge.
Purpose of an Arraignment
At the arraignment, a judge informs the defendant of the crimes brought against them by the prosecution. The judge must provide the defendant with a copy of the document detailing the charges. The judge also informs the defendant of their legal rights, including the right to an attorney and to a speedy trial.
The defendant has the right to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty at the arraignment, but they do not need to enter a plea at this moment. Typically, the defendant does not plead guilty unless both sides agreed to a plea deal.
If the defendant did not have a bail hearing, the court may set release pre-trial conditions, such as the posting of bond.
The arraignment is the deadline for the police to provide the evidence to the prosecutor. Once the prosecutor has possession of the evidence, they must provide it to the defendant, even if it is obtained later on.
Once both sides have exchanged discovery, they may move to exclude evidence from the trial. These hearings take place between the arraignment and the trial.
Proving Embezzlement in Court
For a person to be charged with embezzlement, they must be in a position of trust and be authorized to handle another person’s money or property. The prosecution must prove that the defendant abused their position of trust and used the finances for their own personal gain. Embezzlement is considered theft in Minnesota, and the defendant should contact an attorney for help with their defense.
The defendant in these cases typically has legal possession of the money or property before stealing it. This means the person who they stole it from gave the defendant control over the money or property. When the defendant breaches this trust and uses the money property for their own use, they have committed embezzlement.
The penalties for embezzlement depend on the severity of the crime. Under Minnesota Statute §609.52, minor embezzlement cases could result in up to 90 days of imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000. More serious cases carry penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $100,000.
A Minnesota Embezzlement Attorney Could Represent Your Best Interests
While embezzling from another person is a non-violent crime, the legal consequences can be extremely severe. To avoid the serious penalties associated with this offense, a defendant should contact a Minnesota embezzlement lawyer as soon as they are charged.
Your right to an attorney begins when you are arrested, and it is beneficial to your case to have one at arraignment. Our firm is ready to help you build your defense. Call today to schedule an initial consultation.