Embezzlement is a serious criminal offense under both federal and Texas state law. This crime typically occurs when someone uses his or her position to misappropriate funds. If you are facing criminal charges for embezzlement, it is critical that you defend yourself aggressively. You also must work diligently not to make matters more complicated.
Obstruction of justice involves taking steps to impede official government activities. If you interfere with a police investigation, administrative proceeding or trial, prosecutors may charge you with obstructing justice. Not only does the offense carry with it its own penalties, but it may also harshen the sentence you receive upon conviction for the underlying embezzlement charge.
If you suspect your employer or someone else thinks you have embezzled funds, you may feel a strong temptation to doctor records. This is a mistake, however. After all, if police are investigating, changing documents or creating fake ones may constitute obstruction of justice.
False or misleading statements
Whether investigators are looking into embezzlement or obstruction of justice, they may ask you for an interview. You should remember that you likely have a right to have a lawyer present during questioning. Nonetheless, making false or misleading statements is its own criminal offense. Furthermore, using untrue words to push the investigation in a different direction probably meets the definition of obstruction of justice.
You may have friends, relatives or colleagues who have information about your embezzlement activities. If you are under investigation, however, you must be careful when you interact with these individuals. If you encourage them to mislead investigators or cover up your misconduct, you are apt to face additional charges for obstructing justice. Furthermore, prosecutors may ask anyone with whom you speak to provide evidence against you.
Facing criminal charges can be tremendously unsettling. While there are probably a variety of ways to mount a defense to an embezzlement charge, you certainly do not want to complicate matters.