Facing criminal prosecution is scary. When people are scared, they tend to reach out for anything that makes them feel better. Sometimes, this means people believe information that isn’t true, or that they misunderstand. One common myth is that victims have some power to drop charges. Some of those accused of the white-collar crime of embezzlement may think that the employer can drop the charges against them.
The mythic scenario
For example, let us set up a common scenario. You were accused by your employer of embezzling funds, and then, they reported you to the police, who charged you with embezzlement. If you simply return the money, can the employer drop the charges?
Unfortunately, it is just a myth
Some accused people who believe this myth may be tempted to sell everything they have to repay the employer, hoping the employer will drop the charges. For better or worse, that’s not how criminal charges work. Once the charges have been filed, neither the police nor the employer has the ability to drop the charges. Even if you pay the money back, you will still face charges. Worse yet, paying back those funds could be interpreted as proof of guilt, making your situation even worse.
Who can drop the charges?
The only person that can drop the charges against you is the prosecuting attorney. That person is the only person that has the power to drop or lessen the charges you face. Your attorney can negotiate with them to reduce the charges, even if they elect to not drop all charges against you.
The victim’s wishes
When determining whether to charge someone, what to charge them with and, if appropriate, whether to drop the charges later, prosecutors do consider the victim’s wishes. The alleged crime is a factor, as is any legal charging requirements, as well as criminal history, aggravating factors, etc.
Those who have been accused of embezzlement or other white-collar crimes can learn more about their options and the process of criminal defense by speaking to an experienced attorney.