Embezzlement and Relevant Laws in Arizona
The theft of any kind of property that’s entrusted to someone is a broad crime category known as embezzlement in Arizona. It is a criminal offense and the penalties will vary on the basis of the seriousness of the crime.
What is Embezzlement According to Arizona Law?
For embezzlement to occur in Arizona, several conditions will have to be met.
When someone is entrusted with the management and monitoring of somebody else’s property and theft occurs for a personal gain, that person will be committing embezzlement. The individual committing the embezzlement has either legal or authorized access to the respective property that can include assets and money.
Misusing the company’s credit card for a personal purchase, for example, could classify as an act of embezzlement. Any other mismanagement of funds that you have access to but no ownership will also be considered embezzling.
Arizona Penalties for Embezzlement
Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1802 is the law that highlights the penalties for embezzlement.
Whenever a person embezzles up to 1,000 dollars, they will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is six months in jail, a three-year probation and a fine of up to 2,500 dollars. Embezzling between 1,000 and 2,500 dollars will lead to Class 6 felony charges. A maximum penalty to expect in such circumstances is one year in prison and a minimum fine of 1,000 dollars.
The most serious case of embezzlement involves the theft of over 25,000 dollars. This is a Class 2 felony. The minimum prison sentence will be four years and the maximum one is 12.5 years. A fine of about 1,000 dollars will also apply.
Keep in mind that a person who has suffered embezzlement may file a civil lawsuit. There’s no requirement in Arizona for criminal proceedings to begin. Whenever the civil lawsuit is successful, a perpetrator will be asked to pay back the embezzled amount and additional reimbursements could also be ordered.
If you’re being charged with embezzlement, you will need to get in touch with an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney immediately.
Even if the embezzlement was accidental and you were unaware of the fact you were committing a criminal act, you could still be facing serious consequences.
Business owners, managers, CEOs and other professionals who have authorized access to corporate funds may unintentionally commit embezzlement over the course of their career. Lawyers see such mistakes all the time. The legal parameters of asset management/use will need to be examined by a lawyer to determine whether there are any ambiguities or loopholes.
Establishing that the property was given as a gift is another successful defense strategy lawyers may choose to employ.
Obviously, demonstrating that the defendant didn’t take the money or assets is another defense strategy. A good lawyer will seek evidence and they’ll carry out interviews with witnesses to find out whether criminal activity has occurred.
Finally, an attorney may choose to establish that money/assets have been taken and used for legitimate business purposes, that the defendant acted under duress and that entrapment occurred. Questioning the investigation procedurals and establishing the fact that the defendant’s rights were violated could also prove to be beneficial.
The strategies that can be used to fight embezzlement charges are numerous and the selection of the right ones will be dependent on the evidence and the circumstances. A lawyer could also explore possibilities like paying back the embezzled amount for the purpose of reducing the eventual sentence that the defendant will face. While this is a viable option, do not expect a repayment to get rid of the charges altogether.
Embezzlement charges can have serious consequences, even if the amount isn’t massive. Refrain from providing investigators with information because you could be self-incriminating yourself. Instead, ask to speak to an attorney. You will be given suggestions about what to do and the lawyer will also begin building your defense immediately.