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Criminal Law Blog

Understanding Embezzlement Charges

October 22, 2021

People classify embezzlement as a white-collar crime, but that does not mean that it doesn’t carry potentially serious consequences. If you are charged with embezzlement, in addition to facing the loss of your career and damage to your reputation, you could face a significant prison sentence and fines. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can deal with embezzlement charges on your own by negotiating with your accuser, as anything you say could incriminate you. Instead, as soon as you have been charged with embezzlement or suspect you’re being investigated, call a criminal defense attorney, who can start working on your case right away. 

What is embezzlement?

Under Arizona law, embezzlement is a type of theft of money or property that is committed by someone who was responsible for managing the allegedly stolen items or who had access to the stolen items through their position as an employee or volunteer. Some common types of embezzlement include transferring money from an employer’s account into a personal account, taking money for sales of items without recording the sales, creating fake employees in a system to generate extra paychecks or benefits, or falsifying company records to take money from the business without being detected. 

What are the penalties for embezzlement?

Embezzlement penalties depend on the nature of the charges and the amount of money or property alleged to have been stolen. The most serious embezzlement charges are Class 2 felonies and carry sentences of up to 12.5 years in prison, while the least serious charges are Class 1 misdemeanors, which may carry a six-month sentence. When you hire a criminal defense attorney, he or she will argue to have your charges reduced to limit the potential penalties you face. 

What should I do if I am arrested for embezzlement in Arizona?

Being charged with embezzlement can be shocking and embarrassing, and some people make the mistake of trying to discuss the charges with their former employer in hopes of clearing things up. Doing so could place your defense at a disadvantage. Instead, resist talking to the police or your former employer and immediately call a criminal defense lawyer instead. 

Janet Altschuler has the experience you need on your side to fight embezzlement charges in Tucson. When you’re arrested, make sure your first call is to a criminal defense attorney who will fight for your rights at every step of your case. For a case consultation, call 520-200-5003.

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