Embezzlement involves a person having limited rights over someone else’s property but using it for their own purposes. These are serious allegations with severe potential penalties. Although there is no specific embezzlement statute under state law, prosecutors and courts will pursue these cases under the theft laws.
If you are accused of this offense, let a New River embezzlement lawyer defend your rights and freedoms. The dedicated defense attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group will explain the state’s theft laws and what a prosecutor needs to prove for a conviction. We work to uncover evidence in your favor and defeat the allegations against you.
Embezzlement has a specific legal definition. While common theft involves taking the property of another without their permission, embezzlement involves a person with permission to take temporary control of someone else’s property. If the temporary holder exceeds their authority as a holder of the property or uses the property in a way that the owner disapproves of, this constitutes embezzlement.
State law uses a single statute to define and punish all examples of theft. According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 13-1802, embezzlement is simply one example of behavior that deprives a true owner of the proper use of their assets.
Understanding the legal concept of embezzlement is vital when developing a defense against these allegations. A New River embezzlement attorney could argue that the property owner gave implied or explicit permission for the defendant to use the property in the way they did. A lawyer could also contest whether the defendant intended to deprive the owner of the property, as intent is a requirement for any theft conviction.
As an example of theft, the law determines the punishments for an embezzlement conviction based on the value of the items involved in the incident. Many examples of embezzlement involve property with a value of less than $1,000. This means the charge will move forward as a Class 1 misdemeanor where convictions can never result in more than one year in jail.
If the value of the items rises to more than $1,000, the case will be a felony. In felony cases, a first conviction can bring various penalties based on mitigating and aggravating factors. However, all felony convictions come with a presumptive prison sentence.
Another thing to know about embezzlement convictions is that a court will usually order a guilty party to pay restitution to the person or company from whom they stole. This can be a significant financial burden on top of the prescribed criminal penalties. An embezzlement lawyer at our firm is ready to develop a defense against these charges that aims to avoid or mitigate severe penalties.
People facing charges involving embezzlement may be frightened and confused. They may think they were only doing what the property owner intended. There may be genuine confusion as to the extent of their permission to use the property.
Regardless of the circumstances, help from a New River embezzlement lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. The seasoned attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group can work to investigate the situation and protect a defendant’s rights throughout the legal process. Contact our dedicated legal team today to learn how we can fight for you.