Chicago Embezzlement Lawyer
Embezzlement is a form of white collar theft that is punished harshly in the state of Illinois. A guilty verdict can bring fines, probation, and decades spent in prison. This crime commonly occurs in business settings where employees and administrators are entrusted with funds or property. Because legitimate cases of embezzlement are difficult to justify, many people are falsely accused of this offense. Fortunately, there are legal strategies that can help you overcome embezzlement charges.
Chicago embezzlement lawyer Michael O’Meara knows that misunderstandings can lead to criminal charges. Perhaps you were simply moving funds from one place to another, or maybe you were given permission to use company property by a superior. With over 20 years of experience fighting for the rights of the accused, O’Meara Law can help give your case the best possible chances of success.
To find out more about how we can defend your rights, call 312-909-0706 for a free consultation.
According to Illinois law, embezzlement involves misappropriating funds that belong to another person. This crime differs from theft in that it is often committed by someone who has been temporarily entrusted with funds or property. An elaborate form of this crime might involve a stockbroker stealing money from a client’s account, while a more common type of embezzlement may involve a cashier stealing money from a register.
Stolen property can be divided into two categories:
- Tangible – This includes physical items, such as a car or diamond ring.
- Intangible – This typically refers to forms of currency that can be used to buy property, such as cash, stocks, bonds, and even fraudulent bills.
Penalties for Embezzlement
The criminal penalties for embezzlement depend on the value of the property stolen. For example, embezzlement that involves a value of less than $500 is a misdemeanor, while stealing more valuable items automatically elevates the crime to a felony. The penalties that are commonly assigned for this offense include:
- Under $500 (Class A Misdemeanor) – A fine of up to $2,500 and up to one year of incarceration.
- Between $500 and $1,000 (Class 3 Felony): A fine of up to $25,000 and between two and five years in prison. When the crime is committed in a school or place of worship, or if it involves government property, penalties increase to a fine of up to $25,000 and between three and seven years in prison.
- Between $10,000 and $100,000 (Class 2 Felony): A fine of up to $25,000 and between two and five years in prison. When the crime is committed in a school or place of worship, or if it involves government property, a conviction may result fine of up to $25,000 and between four and 15 years in prison.
- Between $100,000 and $500,000 (Class 1 Felony): A fine of up to $25,000 and between two and five years in prison. When the crime is committed in a school or place of worship, or if it involves government property, the prison sentence may increase to between six and 30 years.
If you are convicted of embezzlement, your punishment doesn’t stop with fines and prison. In addition to criminal penalties, an embezzlement offense on your criminal record carries severe collateral consequences. Finding a job once you are released from prison, for example, might be extremely difficult. Your attempts to continue your education might also be stifled as well. In addition, many scholarships are impossible to obtain if you have a conviction history.
How O’Meara Law Can Help
If you have been charged with embezzlement, it may be possible to get your charges eliminated or reduced with the help of a skilled lawyer. Michael O’Meara has years of legal experience on both sides of the courtroom. With experience as both a prosecutor and a defender, he can anticipate the prosecution’s strategy and craft a winning defense.
To see how O’Meara Law can help you maintain your freedom, call 312-909-0706 today for your free and confidential consultation.