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Limiting the damage of an embezzlement charge

No one wants to find themselves charged with a white collar crime. However, for a number of reasons, people make mistakes. Some people are quick to assign blame and punishments for a misstep. However, it is important to remember that a person charged with a white collar crime in Michigan still has rights. Because this type of crime is nonviolent and motivated primarily by financial gain, not all cases require the same penalty.

Many people who are charged with embezzlement, fraud or other similar crimes are otherwise law-abiding citizens. In Michigan, for example, a Harbor Springs woman was recently charged with embezzlement. She had no criminal history whatsoever, and this was taken into consideration when determining her plea agreement.

According to reports, the 38-year-old woman was working as a bookkeeper for White Pines Electric when she embezzled over $1,000 from her employer. Originally, she was facing two felony accounts of embezzlement and using a computer to commit a crime.

After working with her attorney, however, the woman pled guilty to one reduced charge of embezzlement of less than $1,000. It was ruled that her sentence will be delayed by nine months. During these nine months, she will be on probation. If she is able to abide by the terms set for her probation during this time, the charge will ultimately be dismissed.

A combination of favorable factors came into play when she was sentenced. First, the woman has no history of criminal behavior. Had this been a second or third offense, it is likely that she would have faced harsher penalties. She also was cooperative with Michigan authorities during the investigation. Judges may be more likely to show leniency with a person who they feel is obliging during this process. Receiving helpful and accurate legal support in similar situations can also play a significant role in positively affecting the charges and sentencing.

Source: Petoskey News, "Delayed sentence for Harbor Springs woman accused of embezzlement," Heather Lockwood, April 12, 2012

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