Most of us have heard the term embezzlement. We tend to associate it with corporate bigwigs and CEOs. However, you’d be surprised at how many ordinary people are charged with embezzlement every year. If you’ve been charged with the crime of embezzlement, you need to call a Connecticut criminal defense attorney.
Embezzlement is a lot different from theft. It’s considered a white-collar crime. But white-collar crime is punished the same way as theft. If convicted, you’ll face jail time and fines. You aren’t treated special because you stole from your employer as opposed to an individual.
The main difference between theft and embezzlement is where you steal the property from. With theft, or larceny, you steal property from someone else. This can involve stealing from a store or another person.
Embezzlement, on the other hand, is when you misappropriate money or property that is in your care on behalf of someone else. Some of the most common types of embezzlement in Connecticut are:
- Falsifying overtime records
- Taking money from your company’s payroll
- Illegally taking funds that belong to your employer
Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Know the Different Types of Embezzlement
There are basically six (6) different types of embezzlement in Connecticut. It basically has to do with degree. It depends on how much you embezzled. The lower the degree the less money you stole.
Each degree carries a different jail sentence and fines. Here is a breakdown of the degrees of embezzlement:
6th Degree Embezzlement:
- Considered a Class D Misdemeanor
- For people who embezzle less than $500
- You face a fine of up to $500 and up to 3 months in jail
5th Degree Embezzlement:
- Is a Class B Misdemeanor
- Designated for embezzlement of up to $1,000
- You’ll face a $1,000 fine and u to 6 months in prison
4th Degree Embezzlement:
- Still just a Class A Misdemeanor
- Theft of $1,000 to $2,000
- Penalty of up to 1 year in jail and fines up to $2,000
3rd Degree Embezzlement:
- This is actually considered a Class D Felony
- Embezzlement of $2,000 to $10,000
- Fines of up to $5,000
- From 1-5 years in jail
2nd Degree Embezzlement:
- This is a Class C Felony
- If you embezzle $10,000-$20,000 you’ll be charged with 2nd degree crime
- $10,000 fine
- Prison sentence of 1-10 years
1st Degree Embezzlement:
- Anything more than $20,000
- Is a Class B Felony
- Face 1-20 years in prison and fines of up to $15,000
As you can see, the laws for embezzlement are pretty clear cut in Connecticut. Your Connecticut criminal defense attorney will fight to get your charges reduced or dismissed.
Your Connecticut Criminal Defense Attorney Will Raise Any Possible Defenses
It’s hard to claim that you did nothing wrong if you’re caught with your hand in the cookie jar. However, mistakes do happen. There could be a legitimate explanation for your behavior. If so, your Connecticut criminal defense attorney will fight on your behalf to prove one of these defenses.
There are three (3) potential defenses to embezzlement in Connecticut. Your Connecticut criminal defense lawyer will have to prove that you are entitled to claim the defense. The defenses are as follows:
- Claim of Good Faith: If you took the money or property openly and didn’t hide it. This shows that you had no reason or intention to deceive the victim. However, this defense doesn’t apply if you took the property in order to satisfy a debt.
- Claim of Authority: This one is very limited and hard to prove. If you can show that you took the property while serving as a trust for the property, it won’t be considered embezzlement.
- No Demand Made by Victim: Technically, in order to be guilty of embezzlement, the victim has to make a demand for the property. If you refuse to give it back, it can be considered embezzlement. This one is really a matter of semantics. The court usually won’t dismiss a charge of embezzlement just because the victim didn’t make a demand in writing for his property.
There are times when one or more of these defenses may apply to your case. If so, your Connecticut criminal defense attorney will make a plea to the prosecutor to dismiss or reduce the charges.
Contact a 24-Hour Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with embezzlement, you need to contact a 24-hour Connecticut criminal defense lawyer. These are serious charges and carry serious penalties. It’s not something you want to take lightly.
Call and schedule your initial consultation today. You can sit down with a Connecticut criminal defense attorney and have him review your case. He’ll answer any questions you may have. He can also reach out to the prosecutor to try to get your charges reduced or dismissed.