If you or someone you love has been charged with embezzlement, this is a serious offense and you need the best and fairest possible defense.
The Difference Between Theft and Embezzlement
The first thing you need to know is how embezzlement charges differ from traditional theft charges. In the eyes of the law, embezzlement is indeed the theft of money for personal gain but there is one major difference. The one aspect that makes embezzlement different is that there is a relationship between the person taking the money and the entity they have taken it from.
For example, a person works at a place of business and is taking money intended for the business. In some cases, it is a personal relationship that quantifies the embezzlement charge such as a caregiver taking the dependent person’s money meant for their needs and care.
Basically, the person charged has to have been in a position to maintain, use, or manage the money that was taken or misappropriated.
How the Law Sees It
Along with this distinction comes the chance of having a different sentence if you or someone you know is found guilty.
Obviously, the sentencing if found guilty depends on the amount of money that was taken – a person who took $500 from their place of business most likely won’t face the same charges as someone who takes $100K. However, here is an example of the difference between facing an embezzlement charge as opposed to a theft charge.
The penalties that are possible for a theft charge according to Minnesota statutes is set at a maximum of five years in prison and $10K in fines for property valued between $2500 and $5000. However, once that charge is listed as an embezzlement charge, the penalties are much stiffer at up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $20K – so everything is doubled. An embezzlement charge may be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony and if you or someone you know is charged, you won’t the lowest possible sentence or in some cases, no charges at all.
Now let’s take a look at a worst case scenario. The penalty for property or money valued over 35K is 20 years in prison and/or a fine up to $100,000 Theft of firearms falls under this category, regardless of their value, though. So let’s say that you are a caregiver of someone and take a firearm home that they are not using and will probably never use again. It may even be just an old firearm they had stored away. Regardless of the reason, while most people wouldn’t think of doing something like this, it may seem perfectly logical that it is something that won’t be missed. The burden is on the prosecution and we will do everything in our power to challenge the charge that you knowingly committed embezzlement.
This is not a situation that is the norm by any means but it does go to show you that there is the option of getting the sentence reduced from embezzlement to theft, which has lower penalties by half.
Get the Best Defense Possible
If you or someone you love has been accused of embezzlement, you need to best defense possible so that the charges may be reduced or even dropped in some cases. It is important to get your defense started as soon as possible so contact us if you are dealing with charges of embezzlement so we can help you. Speas Law Firm has over 20 years of experience with dealing with criminal defense throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul, the Twin Cities metro, and all throughout Minnesota.
Disclaimer: The content of this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact Jennifer Speas to discuss the specifics of your case.