Crime is one of the most popular topics for television, movies and literature. One of the most common crimes that is depicted in crime shows or movies is embezzlement. Although it may be interesting for the silver screen, in reality, being accused of embezzlement is no small declaration. If you have been accused of embezzlement, then you could be facing serious trouble.
I, Zachary Holbrook, am a criminal defense attorney with experience defending individuals who have been accused of embezzling. Feel free to reach out with any questions. If you have been accused of embezzling, contact me in order to get the very best legal representation. To learn more about embezzlement, continue reading.
What is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement is the legal word for theft or withholding assets that were placed within a person’s control for safekeeping, usually by an employer. So essentially the defendant would be accused of stealing a company’s resources. This could be money or some other form of property. Embezzlement is considered a white collar crime and is a criminal offense, meaning that it is typically taken to court under state law. However, there are times when a case may be taken up to the federal government, namely when the crime has been committed against the federal government.
Is Embezzlement Considered a Misdemeanor or a Felony?
Embezzlement is typically classified as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is a less extreme criminal act that is punished less severely than a felony. The laws vary slightly depending on what state the crime was committed in as to what is considered a misdemeanor vs. a felony. In Utah, there are different classes of misdemeanors which have different consequences. The consequences could include fines, up to a year in county jail, or both.
A felony is a more serious offense than a misdemeanor. There are times when embezzlement can be charged as a felony. In Utah, if the assets stolen exceeded $1,500 then it would be considered a third degree felony and if the property value exceeded $5,000 then it would result in a second degree felony. If charged with a second degree felony in Utah, a person could be facing up to 15 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
What Affects the Severity of an Embezzlement Sentence?
The amount that is stolen can certainly aggravate the severity of a person’s embezzlement sentencing. The greater the amount of money and the longer that the individual was supposedly embezzling can have an impact on a sentence including the length of jail time and number of fines. However, there are other factors that could make an embezzlement sentence drastically more severe.
In Utah, if the embezzlement charge was levied against a person who committed the crime against protected individuals, the sentencing could be much more severe. The sentencing could be severe if the embezzlement was committed against an elderly person, a person with disabilities, or a dependent adult. Embezzlement against an elderly person is considered Senior Fraud. Senior Fraud comes with serious penalties, as it is also considered exploitation.
What To Do If Charged with Embezzlement
The first thing that an individual should do if they are charged with embezzlement is to talk to an attorney. Consulting an attorney can help you avoid any potential mistakes with submitting information and help you build a solid case. A qualified criminal defense attorney can guide you through the criminal justice system and help protect you and your rights as a United States citizen. Reach out to me, Zachary C. Holbrook, to get started building your case or to learn more about our firm’s services.