If you are facing criminal charges for embezzlement, you will need an experienced lawyer on your side to help you build the best possible defense. Embezzlement is the crime of appropriating funds or assets that were entrusted into your care by another person for your own personal benefit.
Although embezzlement is considered a white-collar crime, the penalties for an embezzlement conviction in Stamford can be severe. Convictions often result in lengthy jail sentences and steep fines.
While you may feel helpless to defend against the charges you are facing, you do not have to navigate this difficult period on your own. Our Stamford embezzlement lawyers have experience defending against all forms of embezzlement charges, and can help you craft a solid defense strategy based on the specific circumstances of your case.How an Attorney Can Help
If a person has been charged with embezzlement, law enforcement has likely already collected a fair amount of evidence against them. However, individuals remain innocent until proven guilty. Although defending oneself against these charges may seem difficult, remember that the prosecution must prove every element of their case in order to obtain a conviction.
An experienced Stamford embezzlement attorney can help determine the best possible defenses available to their client based on the specific circumstances leading to the embezzlement charge.
When speaking with law enforcement officials, it is imperative that an individual understands the laws that apply to their case as well as their legal rights to avoid incriminating themselves. Having an experienced embezzlement defense attorney on their side will ensure that the defendant’s rights are protected at all times, and can result in the charges against them being lowered, or even dropped entirely.Connecticut Embezzlement Laws
Connecticut laws relating to embezzlement can be found in Section 53a-119 of the Connecticut Penal Code.
Embezzlement is a form of theft, known as larceny. Under Connecticut law, embezzlement occurs when a person wrongfully appropriates another person’s property while that property was in their care or custody.
A key aspect of the crime of embezzlement is that the person charged with taking the property of another had legal access to it prior to appropriating it for themselves. This access is usually granted through a professional relationship.
Anyone who is placed in a position of trust in which they are expected to care for the property of another person (such as a banker, investor, or officer of a company), will be guilty of embezzlement if they violate that trust and keep the property they were charged to protect for their own benefit.
The potential penalties for embezzlement vary according to the type and value of the property that was stolen:
- Embezzlement of property valued up to $2,000 is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by up to one year in jail or a fine of up to $2,000, or both.
- Embezzlement of property valued between $2,000 and $10,000 is a Class D felony. The embezzlement of property that is a vehicle, a public record, a biological sample, culture, or microorganism, or property that reveals a scientific secret, technical process, or invention, also falls into this category. A Class D felony can result in jail time of up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both.
- Embezzlement of property valued between $10,000 and $20,000 is a Class C felony. Also included in this category is public property valued at $2,000 or less, or property owned by a telecommunications provider, the theft of which interrupted emergency communications services. In addition, if the owner of the property that was stolen was a senior citizen (over the age of 60 years), or was blind or physically disabled, the crime of embezzlement falls into this category. Class C felonies are punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- Embezzlement of property worth more than $20,000, or public property worth more than $2,000 is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000, or both.
While embezzlement is a form of stealing, it is often punished more harshly than other larceny crimes because it involves the betrayal of trust in a relationship. These types of crimes are often zealously prosecuted, especially when public funds are involved.
It is very important that you have an experienced attorney on your side to help you present your defense to avoid finding yourself at a serious disadvantage in court.
The consequences of a felony conviction can affect your ability to obtain credit and employment even long after you have served your prison sentence. Do not take chances with your freedom. Contact our Stamford embezzlement lawyers today to begin building your defense.