This is the next post in our series on the handling of Arkansas embezzlement charges. Our last post focused on Fifth Amendment violations in embezzlement cases. It is important to understand that you have the right to remain silent when dealing with law enforcement. If those rights are violated then it may be possible to exclude any statements from Court. In this article we will be addressing an issue which sometimes arises in such matters – disputing the value of any property which was taken. We strongly stress that you contact a criminal defense attorney immediately if you find yourself facing criminal charges.
Embezzlement cases may be brought as either a misdemeanor, a felony, or through federal charges. The level of the charge will, in part, depend on the value of any property which was taken. If money is what was taken the value of it is obvious. If, however, one is charged with misappropriating company property, office supplies, or other items then the value of such items can determine the level of charges. The prosecutor will allege a certain value of the property, but they are required to prove it. If they fail to prove the value then you may be convicted of a lesser included offense or you may beat the case outright.
Prosecutors will be required to use an expert witness to prove the value of any property other money. This is due to the fact that laypeople are not allowed to testify as to what are considered “complex” matters. The valuing of property is complex. Your lawyer will have an opportunity to cross-examine the prosecution’s expert and you will be able to retain your own professional to render an opinion as to the value of what was taken. At the end of the case it will be up to the jury to decide which expert is more credible, which value should be believed, and to make a final decision. This means that you should retain counsel who is experienced in dealing with experts and who knows how to argue such matters to a jury.
Our Little Rock criminal defense lawyers have over twenty-five years of combined legal experience. We have handled many white collar crime cases, including those stemming from embezzlement. We will aggressively protect your interests throughout the process and will be in regular communication with you from beginning to end. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of the state.