New York Embezzlement Defense Lawyers
Embezzlement is a crime in which the defendant misuses or misappropriates funds over which the defendant had some sort of control. Embezzlement focuses on the fact that the defendant was entrusted with the care of cash or other assets but was not granted ownership, and they misused that property illegally for their own benefit. Embezzlement is considered a “white collar” crime, meaning it’s a financial crime that is typically non-violent. Not all forms of embezzlement involve Wall Street types, however; a restaurant cashier who “borrows” from the register to pay bills might also be guilty of embezzlement.
White-collar crime or not, embezzlement is a very serious offense. Depending on the value of the property embezzled, a convicted defendant can face serious felony convictions and years or decades in prison. If you have been arrested or charged with embezzlement in Orange County, it is vital to get a seasoned and knowledgeable New York criminal defense lawyer on your side as soon as possible to avoid the worst consequences of an embezzlement conviction. Call a dedicated criminal defense lawyer at Dupée & Monroe in Goshen after your embezzlement arrest to start building your case and protecting your rights.
Defining Embezzlement in New York
Embezzlement is the illegal theft or taking of property, typically money, with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of those funds and without the authority or permission to do so. Typically, embezzlement involves the theft or misuse of money. Embezzlement may occur in the form of an unauthorized wire transfer from a bank account, removing cash from a safe without permission, misusing someone else’s credit card, manipulating business records to deposit extra funds in the defendant’s account, or other situations in which a person has control over funds they do not own and uses those funds for their own benefit.
In New York, embezzlement is typically punished as a form of larceny under New York Penal Law Article 155. Section 155.05 specifically includes “embezzlement” as a means of theft punishable as larceny.
Penalties for Embezzlement
The exact penalty range for embezzlement depends upon the amount of money embezzled. The punishments for petit larceny (the base crime) and the various degrees of grand larceny are as follows:
- Petit Larceny: Petit larceny applies to theft of property up to $1,000 in value. Petit larceny is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and up to one year in jail.
- Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree: Larceny of property valued between $1,000 and $3,000 is punishable as a Class E felony. The maximum penalties include a fine of either $5,000 or double the defendant’s gain from the crime and up to four years in prison.
- Grand Larceny in the Third Degree: Larceny of property valued between $3,000 and $50,000 is punishable as a Class D felony. The maximum penalties include a fine of either $5,000 or double the defendant’s gain from the crime and up to seven years in prison.
- Grand Larceny in the Second Degree: Larceny of property valued between $50,000 and $1 million is punishable as a Class C felony. The maximum penalties include a fine of either $15,000 or double the defendant’s gain from the crime and up to 15 years in prison.
- Grand Larceny in the First Degree: Larceny of property worth over $1 million is punishable as a Class B felony. The maximum penalties include a fine of either $30,000 or double the defendant’s gain from the crime and up to 25 years in prison.
Defending Against Embezzlement Charges
Embezzlement is a serious crime and the best way to avoid conviction and prison time is to get a zealous and effective New York criminal defense lawyer on your side as soon as possible. Depending on the facts of your case, your attorney may be able to avoid the worst consequences of conviction via defenses including:
- Expiration of the statute of limitations (two years for misdemeanors and five years for felonies)
- Reduction in the amount of money chargeable, reducing the degree of the charges
- Permission or authority to use the funds as utilized, negating a key element of the crime
- A reasonable belief that the defendant owned the property in question
- Police misconduct requiring the exclusion of certain evidence from the case
Any number of defenses may apply in a given case. Talk to a seasoned New York defense lawyer to start building your defense.
Get Help After Your New York Embezzlement Arrest
The lawyers at Dupée & Monroe have decades of experience helping people like you build the strongest defense possible against charges of embezzlement. If you have been arrested for embezzlement or other offenses in Goshen, Orange County, or anywhere in the Hudson Valley region, reach out to Dupée & Monroe, P.C., for advice and representation from dedicated New York criminal defense attorneys.