What should I do to prove my innocence in an embezzlement case? 35 Answers as of August 24, 2011

Caught in an embezzlement situation with my previous job and don't know what to do. I have no money and don't know where to begin on how to prove my innocence.

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Austin Legal Services, PLC
Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
First of all, it is not your duty to prove your innocence. It is the prosecutor's burden to prove your guilt. If you are charged with embezzlement and have no money, you will probably be eligible for court-appointed counsel. Don't admit anything to anybody or discuss the matter with police or anybody else without having an attorney involved.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/24/2011
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
If you have no money after you are arrested you will come to court in custody (if you do not bail out which if you have no money it is not likely you will be able to do) and the court will appoint you a public defender and you can explain to him your situation.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/16/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
If you do not have funds in which to hire counsel, I would advise you to keep your mounth shut, make no statements to anyone about the case, especially law enforcement or other investigators. When you get to Court request a court-appointed attorney and let them handle this matter.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 8/15/2011
Law Office of Nixon Ayemi | Nixon Ayeni
you have a seroius problem, you need a lawyer and there are lawyers that may help you since you do not have any money, some lawyers may put you on a payment plan while the case is live.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 8/15/2011
Law Office of Sara Sencer McArdle
Law Office of Sara Sencer McArdle | Sara Sencer McArdle
The Public Defender's office handles such cases if you are unemployed and have no money. The lawyers are generally are very competent and knowledgeable.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 8/15/2011
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    Embezzlement is a felony and if they can prove that you took funds you will be convicted of a felony if you are in fact guilty. If you are innocent there should be no proof linking you to the crime and you will be acquitted at trial. Either way you should retain a criminal attorney to investigate the facts and advise you on how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/15/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    You should not say "caught" if you are not guilty. If you are charged and you are indigent, an attorney will be appointed to represent you. (Indigent means do not own propety you can sell, work full time at a minimum or relatively low wage job, disabled, etc.)
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/14/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Hire a lawyer who can help you. If not, you will get a court appointed lawyer because you are facing a felony.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Bloom Legal, LLC
    Bloom Legal, LLC | Seth J. Bloom
    You should hire an attorney to represent you who will be able to work with you to craft a defense strategy and work to prove your innocence. You should begin by contacting local defense attorneys in your area. Many will likely offer the ability to set up payment plans as long as you are sure to be consistent in payment.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
    Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
    You should hire an attorney. If you cannot afford one you can apply for a court appointed attorney free of charge. Also you do not have to prove your innoecenc. The prosecutor has to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law
    Eric J Schurman, Attorney at Law | Eric James Schurman
    You need legal representation. Hire an attorney immediately
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/13/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    At trial the people will be represented by the prosecuting attorney. You will be at a great disadvantage with the help of an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, the court should appoint one for you. Retaining an attorney to assist you is the first step that should be taken.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
    I wouldn't make any statements (good or bad) without an attorney. You are entitled to appointment of an attorney if you cannot afford to hire one.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law | Michael R. Nack
    If you are charged with a crime and truly have no money, you can ask the court to appoint the public defender to represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    You should present all of the facts in your case to your attorney. Then you can go over what to do with the case and how to go about defending the claims. It is impossible to evaluate your case in a one or two sentence explanation. The best advice I can give is to talk to the attorney that you hire to represent you in your case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    You do not have to prove yourself innocent. But it you can, do it. The prosecution has to prove you guilty.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    The best advice I can give you is to hire counsel to represent you in this matter. I do not know the status of your case, but if you are being investigated, and are asked to give a statement by the police, my advice is to refuse making a statement and never signed any form without fully understanding what you are signing. Keep in mind that the authorities must have the evidence before formally charging you. In the event you are arrested, ask the judge for a public defender before proceeding further. If you are able to afford counsel, I would advise doing so as soon as you find out the police are interested in interviewing you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    You don't have to prove anything. The prosecutor needs to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in order to get a conviction. Speaking generally, it's good to keep careful notes, keep an organized file, keep track of potential contacts for people, and help your attorney, regardless of whether you retain or have a court-appointed attorney, with information that will assist in your defense.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    If you truly have no money, then you may be able to qualify for a public defender. I would start there.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    Whom are you trying to prove your innocence to? If you are charged criminally you should apply for a public defender. In a civil case, you need to give some more details before I could tell you how to proceed.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Frances R. Johnson
    Frances R. Johnson | Frances R. Johnson
    If charges were filed against you and you qualify financially, an attorney should be appointed to represent you (make sure you make the appropriate request). If for whatever reason you don't qualify for an appointed attorney, I highly suggest you call several attorneys where you live and find one who has some form of flexible payment arrangement so that you can hire him/her. Other than that, how to defend the case will completely depend upon the facts of the case. In order for you to be found guilty, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the elements of embezzlement. The charging document (complaint, indictment, information) will be the place for you to look to see what the prosecutor has to prove. The charges would be defended against by presenting evidence (or argument) that the elements cannot be proven by the requisite level. This is incredibly basic. It's impossible for me to explain everything that goes into defending such a charge. You don't prove your innocence; the prosecutor has to prove your guilt.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    No one can ever prove their innocence. You goal in a criminal case is to force the prosecutor to prove their case, and hope they cant. What can you do? Hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. If you can't afford private counsel, you can apply for the Public Defender. No amount of free 'tips and hints' from here or anywhere else are going to effectively help you in your defense, other than the advice to exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to ANYONE about the case except an attorney. That includes on this or any other web site or public forum. Most police and prosecutors will happily tell you that 95% of people convict themselves by trying to be 'helpful and cooperative', either during initial contact, questioning, interview or interrogation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    For starters, don't cooperate. Don't talk to the cops or anyone else about the charges or the facts; other than your attorney. If you are contacted by the employer or the authorities, say only that you have the right to remain silent and are using it. Then say you want an attorney and nothing more. Beyond that, don't consent to any searches and make sure to get your witnesses in line.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You're going to have to defend yourself with the assistance of a lawyer. You can't do it alone. If you cannot afford one, then the judge should appoint one free of charge.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    If you have no money, at your first appearance, ask for a Public Defender. Your Public Defender can advise you on the best steps to take.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    Embezzlement is a very serious offense and most likely a felony. If you can't afford an attorney make sure you apply for a public defender.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Harden Law Offices
    Harden Law Offices | Leonard D. Harden
    Do not talk to anyone. If you have been charged you should hire an attorney. If you have no funds, or assets the court will appoint an attorney. Follow the attorney"s advise.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    This case like all criminal cases if fact driven. You need an attorney. Think about it how much is your good reputation, staying out of jail and not having a criminal record worth? Remember that the prosecution has to prove you guilty not you prove yourself innocence. Have your attorney find out what the evidence is against you and go over it with him. Look at each peace and see is there is a counter to it. Whatever you do get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    If you cannot afford an attorney, you can get a public defender. They are not as bad as their reputation. Make sure you get a meeting to meet with your pd in person and go over your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Christopher Lee
    Usually cases are won with thorough investigation. In your case, you should probably have evidence concerning your financial status. You can bring bank statements and billing statements and income statements to show that you have not embezzled any funds.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Ramsell & Associates LLC
    Ramsell & Associates LLC | Donald Ramsell
    You will never be able to defend yourself as well as a licensed attorney could defend a person. Since you are broke, the court will appoint an attorney for you free of charge.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    You really only have two options, you can either hire a private attorney or ask the court to appoint one for you. If you can afford it, you can and should select your own attorney that you hire privately. If you cannot afford a private attorney and go with the court appointed attorney, you will be assigned whoever is the lawyer on the day that you appear. There is one other option though I would certainly not advise it, and that is to represent yourself. There is a saying that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. This arises from the idea that it is very difficult, even for an attorney who knows the law, to represent himself. Decisions should be made objectively and not emotionally. Additionally, the court will hold you to the same standard as an attorney when it comes to knowledge of the law and legal procedure, despite not being trained or educated in law. For all of these reasons and more it is not advisable for any person, and especially a non-lawyer, to represent themselves in legal proceedings. I would suggest that in a legal proceeding where your freedom is at stake instead of your financial resources, it is even more important to be represented by counsel. Take option one or two.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Watkins Law Office
    Watkins Law Office | Bob Watkins
    Defendants do not have a burden to prove they are innocent. The State has the burden of proof. If you are referring to to discussing the case with the police in an effort to demonstrate you did nothing illegal, talk to a lawyer first.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/12/2011
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC
    Law Offices of Jeffery A. Cojocar, PC | Jeffery A. Cojocar
    Request appointed counsel
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/12/2011
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