Being accused of employee theft affects your career and reputation significantly. North Carolina considers any form of larceny a class H felony unless stated otherwise. If charged, you face a maximum punishment of 39 months in prison.
For this reason, it is important to get legal help with your defense. Don’t rush into decisions to avoid making matters worse. Here is what to do when accused of theft by an employer:
Getting angry and trying to prove your innocence seem like the right things to do when accused of stealing. But this can injure your case. It will be best to stay calm. If your employer asks you to go home for investigations to start, do so. Don’t be tempted to send frustrating emails or reach out to your colleagues for updates. Your own words could give the prosecutor ammunition against you if you say anything that fits their narrative.
Understand the accusation
You need to obtain adequate details about the accusation. Thus, you need to ask questions. Get more information about what is missing, why they suspect you, whether you are being fired, how they will conduct investigations and if you are being charged with a crime.
Know your rights
Despite the accusation, you still have rights. You can request to review your personnel and human resources files. Additionally, taking a lie detector test, especially one that doesn’t comply with the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA), can negatively impact you. Hence, consider your options wisely. Your right to privacy should also not be violated during investigations.
How you respond to an employee theft accusation is crucial. The defense strategies you use can be fruitful if you act right.