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Being arrested on embezzlement charges is often a shock. You might not understand why you are facing these allegations. You could be worried about how the arrest will impact your professional future and reputation in the community.
Call a Tolleson embezzlement lawyer at your first opportunity. The dedicated defense attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group have extensive experience defending people accused of white-collar crimes like embezzlement. With the help of a seasoned legal professional, you can put yourself in a better position to protect your way of life.
The law at Arizona Revised Statutes §13-1802(2) defines embezzlement as a specific form of theft. This offense involves someone with limited authority over someone else’s property who converts it for their own use without authorization. Although the accused person had legal access to the property, they violated the law by using their access to take the property for their own use or gain.
Embezzlement usually involves money, although it could involve other property. Most people who face embezzlement charges hold positions that give them access to money and property, such as the treasurer of a community organization, a bookkeeper for a small business, or the Comptroller or Chief Financial Officer of a major corporation. Any act that diverts someone else’s valuable property into the pocket of a person authorized to handle it could be embezzlement.
A skilled Tolleson embezzlement attorney might raise several defenses, depending on the circumstances. One strategy could be to argue that the accused had a good faith belief that they were entitled to the property. If the person had the authorization to handle the property as they did, they are not guilty of embezzlement. Entrapment could also be an effective defense in some cases.
An embezzlement charge could be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the value of the property the accused allegedly took or diverted. Sentencing in Arizona is complicated, with each crime having a presumptive sentence. However, a judge could impose a sentence within a statutory range depending on whether the defendant has prior convictions and whether the judge considers mitigating or aggravating factors.
A suspended prison sentence and probation are options in embezzlement cases if the defendant has no prior felony history. Fines and restitution orders are usually imposed in embezzlement cases. Anyone facing sentencing on embezzlement charges could speak with a seasoned local attorney at our firm for information about the likely range of sentences in their specific case.
Embezzling property valued at less than $1,000 is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The penalty upon conviction could be up to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine.
Embezzlement of $1,000 to $2,000 worth of property is a Class 6 felony. A first offender might receive a prison sentence of six months to one year, although mitigating factors could reduce it to four months, and aggravating circumstances could extend the sentence to two years. Someone with prior felony convictions could expect a sentence ranging from one year to five years and nine months, depending on the number of prior convictions and whether the judge found aggravating factors.
Embezzling over $2,000 but less than $3,000 of property is a Class 5 felony. Someone without prior convictions might receive a prison sentence of nine months to 1.5 years. With one prior conviction, the presumptive sentence is two years and five months; with two or more prior convictions, the presumptive sentence is five years in prison.
Embezzlement of $3,000 to $4,000 is a Class 4 felony. A first offender could expect a minimum sentence of one year if the judge found mitigating circumstances and up to three years and nine months if the judge found aggravating circumstances. Repeat offenders face a presumptive sentence of 4.5 years if they have one prior conviction and ten years if they have two or more.
A Class 3 felony embezzlement charge involves $4,000 to $25,000 worth of property. The sentence for a first offender ranges from two years in prison with mitigating circumstances to eight years and nine months if the judge finds aggravating circumstances. The presumptive sentence is 6.5 years in prison when the offender has one prior conviction. With two or more prior convictions, the presumptive sentence is 11.25 years.
Embezzling over $25,000 is a Class 2 felony. A first offender could face a prison sentence of three years with mitigating circumstances and up to 12.5 years with aggravating circumstances. The presumptive sentence for someone with one prior conviction is nine years and three months, and 12.75 years for someone with two or more convictions.
Prosecutors take embezzlement charges seriously. Being convicted of embezzling even a relatively small sum could result in years in prison. You need to be proactive in protecting your future.
A Tolleson embezzlement lawyer at our firm can mount a vigorous defense to convince a prosecutor to drop or reduce a charge. If the prosecutor is uncooperative, our seasoned attorneys will present a compelling case in court to justify your acquittal. Call Grand Canyon Law Group today to get started.