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Bookkeeper facing a Century in Prison on Forgery and Theft Charges in Santa Ana

February 21, 2011
By The Law Offices of Vincent J. LaBarbera, Jr. on February 21, 2011 7:56 AM |

A 37-year-old bookkeeper is facing white-collar theft charges in Santa Ana for allegedly using her position at a local church to write 154 checks to herself, totaling nearly $130,000, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

A Santa Ana Criminal Defense Lawyer will likely succeed in reducing the number of charges and the potential penalty faced by this defendant. As it stands, she is facing 154 counts of forgery and more than a century in prison. This is classic and often typical when such cases are filed by the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Often, investigators threatened novice defendants with such mind-boggling time behind bars. In reality, she will never face conviction of that many charges. And even if she did, a judge would never order maximum consecutive sentencing -- if he did it would become an appeal issue.
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Unfortunately, those who are least familiar with the criminal justice system are often the most vulnerable. In many cases, they will attempt to explain themselves to authorities with the hopes of helping themselves. This is rarely the result. It is an investigator's job to gather evidence of your guilt. Speaking with an experienced criminal defense lawyer is usually the best course of action when it comes to protecting your rights once such an investigation is under way.

Authorities allege she used her position at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, where she worked as bookkeeper from 2007 to 2009, to write checks to herself from church accounts without the knowledge of church officials. At the time she was hired at the church, she had already been convicted of grand theft, the Times reported.

A prior conviction will certainly make negotiating a plea more difficult and could open a defendant up to tougher sentencing. Hiring an aggressive and experienced criminal defense lawyer in Santa Ana will be all the more critical.

If you are facing charges of fraud or embezzlement in Santa Ana, contact the Law Offices of Vincent J. LaBarbera Jr. to discuss your rights. Through three decades of experienced, Attorney LaBarbera has argued over 200 criminal trials and appeals. Call (714) 541-9668 for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights.