Frequently Asked Questions About Embezzlement Laws In Arizona


Embezzlement is typically considered to be a white-collar crime. The simple definition of embezzlement is when one person takes or spends another person’s (often a company’s) money without permission. Embezzlement is essentially a variant of theft.

Embezzlement is a crime, but there are plenty of scenarios where an individual dealing with accusations of embezzlement don’t understand what’s going on. Unlike normal theft, which is committed intentionally, some people accidentally embezzle. If you’re under investigation for embezzlement or facing embezzlement charges, you need to learn as much as you can. You also need an attorney who knows how to help you keep your freedom.

What Kind Of Sentence Can Someone Face For Embezzlement?

Embezzlement charges can come at any time. They’re usually made after long investigations, and the length of this investigation can cause the charges to change. If someone were to continuously embezzle during an investigation, what they’ve taken continues to compound against them in the form of additional counts.

Most companies won’t bring up embezzlement charges after they’ve noticed a few hundred dollars is mysteriously missing. They’ll wait, track movements, watch numbers, and build a case with the authorities once they have a wealth of definitive proof. By that time, the government will have enough information and evidence to bring much stronger charges against the individual involved.

The state of Arizona’s penalties for embezzlement correlate with the amount of money that was allegedly embezzled. Small embezzlement cases, particularly those under $1,000, are treated as misdemeanors. This means they carry no more than 6 months in jail and can come with substantial fines.

Some companies wait to catch someone embezzling more than $1,000. That’s because anything above $1,000 enters felony territory. Felony embezzlement convictions can involve prison time and thousands upon thousands of dollars in fines and restitution payments.

What Kind of Activity Qualifies As Embezzlement?

A clear-cut embezzlement case is when someone uses company money for something personal without clearly expressed consent or permission from someone in charge of overseeing those funds. It also concerns the theft of cash (such as money from a safe or a point of sale system) or valuable goods. Taking a pen or a ream of paper from work may not be ethical, but it doesn’t qualify as embezzlement. Counterfeit or fraudulent payments to third parties or vendors may count as embezzlement.

Any scenario under which someone is found to have stolen, deliberately mismanaged, or knowingly dishonestly used funds belonging to another individual/company will likely be treated as embezzlement.

Is It Still Embezzlement If It Was An Accident Or A Misunderstanding?

Sometimes, embezzlement can be something as simple as using the wrong card or funding source to order all the pizza for a work celebration. You weren’t meaning to steal the money – you were meaning to cater a company event. You might have been on a business trip dealing with lost luggage. You used a company credit card to buy a suit to wear when you met another businessperson for an important meeting surrounding the future of your company. If you weren’t told you were allowed to, it might be considered embezzlement even though you used the money for work-related purposes.

Accidental embezzlement is highly possible when the terms and circumstances of the use of certain funds aren’t clear and approved. It’s important to ask two or three times, and to ask as many higher-ups as possible, before you use a company credit card or company cash to purchase something.

If you feel as though you’re being falsely accused of embezzlement, it’s important to counter those accusations the right away. The first step is to find competent legal representation. Then, gather any receipts you may have and get your affairs in order.

Do I Need An Attorney To Help Me With Embezzlement Accusations?

Whether or not the charges or accusations are rooted in truth, embezzlement can ruin someone’s future. It’s progressively more severe depending on the amount of money involved.

Embezzlement is a serious crime. You’re going to need a competent and experienced attorney to defend you, even if you feel as though the situation was just a huge misunderstanding. These situations can sometimes be errors in communication or accounting that lead the parties involved to believe that finances were mishandled. A skilled and aggressive attorney in Tucson, AZ can review this information and demonstrate that it wasn’t your fault.

We’re Here To Help

Doug Taylor is experienced at helping people in Tucson who are facing embezzlement charges or accusations. The sooner you call us, the better. Call as soon as it seems that you’re being suspected of embezzlement. You can contact us for a free consultation, explain your evidence and the circumstances of your situation, and we can begin to build a preemptive defense. If you’ve already been charged, it’s not too late. Embezzlement puts your future at risk and you need aggressive defense.