What is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement is a property theft and is considered to be a white collar crime. It can be charged as a felony or misdemeanor. A charge occurs when a person, who has been entrusted to manage or keep track of someone else’s money or property, allegedly steals all or part of that money or property for their own personal gain. The key element to the offense is that the person had legal access to the money or property, but not legal ownership. The “position of trust” element an embezzlement charge different then stealing. The most common example of embezzlement is a cashier being accused of taking money from the till. However, there are many other ways to commit an embezzlement, such as a public official taking money entrusted to them by virtue of their job, an employee taking the property or inventory of an employer, a corporate employee diverting an employer’s assets or the banker diverting a deposit or transfer of funds.
Your best defense when charged or accused of embezzlement is to work with an experienced, aggressive and effective Michigan embezzlement defense attorney. We can help you understand the possible penalties and come up with a plan to avoid jail.
The Possible Penalties for Embezzlement
The possible penalties for embezzlement vary according to the value or type of property allegedly taken, as well as the position of the person accused of the crime. There is the possibility of increased penalties for people who have prior felony convictions.
Money or property worth less than $200: the possibly penalty is a fine up to $500, or up to three times the value of the property embezzled; up to 93 days in jail or both. If the embezzlement occurred from a no-profit corporation or charity, or the person has one or more prior theft related convictions then penalties are increased to a fine of up to $2000, or three times the amount embezzled whichever is greater; up to 1 year in jail; or both.
Money or property worth more than $200, but less than $1000: the possible fine is up to $2000, or three times the value of the property; up to one year in jail; or both. If there the embezzlement occurred from a non-profit or charity, or there is one or more prior convictions, penalties increase to a fine of $10,000, or three times the amount embezzled whichever is greater; up to five years in prison; or both.
Money or property worth more than $1000, but less than $20,000: the possible fine is up to $10,000 or three times the value of the property whichever is greater; up to five years in prison; or both. Fines and incarceration increases if the property was taken from a charity or non profit corporation.
Money or property worth $20,000, but less than $50,000: possible fine of up to $15,000 or three times the amount embezzled whichever is greater; up to 10 years in prison; or both.
The penalties increase with the monetary value of the money or property allegedly taken. If the target of the embezzlement is one person or business – the court can add the value of all the property supposedly stolen without a time limit. Penalties can also increase depending on the relationship between the accused and the property owner. For instance, embezzlement by a public officer of $50 or more can result is a $5000 fine, up to ten years in prison or both.
Other Possible Penalties and Risks:
The court can also order that you serve a period of intensive probation, be tested for drugs/alcohol, get counseling, not accept any work that involves being around or taking money, just to name a few.
The personal risks are damage to your reputation, employability, ability to get credit, get or keep a professional license and more. A conviction for a theft, embezzlement or crime of dishonesty can impact you permanently in a tragic way.
Highly Experienced Michigan Embezzlement Defense Attorney
The major concern when a person is facing criminal charges is “am I going to jail?”. The criminal defense attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. have extensive experience with the defense of embezzlement charges in Michigan. We will use their experience, talents and reputation for success to make sure that going to jail does not happen, or the risk is minimized. Our attorneys will also pull out all of the stops to work towards a resolution that is favorable to you and will not jeopardize your future. A dismissal of all charges is always our first priority. A dismissal is possible under the right circumstances even when there is an admission or overwhelming evidence of guilt.
Because the potential consequences are significant, you need a highly qualified and experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has a remarkable record of success in representing people charged with theft crimes. Our attorneys often get involved before charges are even brought to assist our clients in the legal process. We understand the dangers involved and the possible long-term effects of a conviction and work tirelessly to protect our clients from overzealous police and prosecutors. Our attorneys have the passion, drive and reputation for leaving no stone unturned to give our clients the highest level of representation that they deserve. If you are facing criminal charges, it would be normal to be scared and confused. Let us answer your questions and make sure that you are given the best representation available. Call us for a free consultation at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We look forward to speaking to you.
“We are not afraid to win!“
– Lewis & Dickstein, P.L.L.C.