One alleged crime that may cause a person to face serious penalties is embezzlement. The elements of embezzlement are similar to the elements theft, but embezzlement was distinguished from general theft long ago because it does not require a person to trespass onto their alleged victim's property to take something. At its core, embezzlement takes place when a person lawfully possesses someone else's property, but then turns the item into his or her own property without intending to give the item back to its owner.
Claims of embezzlement often come up in the context of business transactions. A person may be trusted to handle the money or assets of another person or entity, and may then be charged with embezzlement if that property stays with them rather than getting back to its owner. As with most crimes, embezzlement requires that a person intends to deprive the other of their property, and therefore other explanations and defenses may support a defendant's claim that they are not guilty of their embezzlement charges.
This post should not be read as legal advice and does not provide defense strategies to individual readers. Embezzlement convictions can result in heavy penalties and even jail time and should be taken seriously by those who are forced to confront such charges.