In Connecticut, an embezzlement lawyer is a must when it comes to being charged with the crime. Embezzlement is the unlawful retention of property entrusted to the person accused of committing the crime. In other words, embezzlement occurs when an individual takes property that was entrusted to them for their own personal gain. This crime differs from comparable crimes, such as theft, because it requires a fiduciary relationship between the accused embezzler and the victim.
The person accused of embezzlement must have access to the property that was re-appropriated, which is usually done through professional relationships such as agents, corporate and public officers, and agents. Because the person accused of embezzlement is in a position of trust, Connecticut legislators view this white-collar crime very seriously.
Connecticut imposes very long punishments, which can include long prison sentences and large fines, on people that have been convicted for embezzlement.
Penalties for embezzlement
- Class C misdemeanor: property valued at $500 or less
- Class B misdemeanor: property valued between $500 and $1000
- Class A misdemeanor: property valued between $1000 and $2000
- Class D felony: property valued between $2000 and $10,000
- Class C felony: property valued between $10,000and $20,000
- Class B felony: property valued at more than $20,000
Even though everyone is innocent until proven guilty, embezzlement charges require a lot of time, effort, and information. In other words, when accused of embezzlement, usually the prosecutor has already compiled lots of information and proof of the crime. While it can be incredibly difficult to create the appropriate defense, the prosecution must still prove beyond a reasonable doubt that embezzlement occurred.
Connecticut embezzlement defenses
Numerous defenses still exist. As a preliminary matter, experienced embezzlement lawyers usually investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged embezzlement to determine if any mistakes were made, such as errors in calculation or judgment, whether another person actually committed the crime, etc. These sorts of mistakes can have a very large impact. For example, if the accused person was not aware of their rights and made statements violating their Miranda rights when being questioned by the police, the case might be dismissed from the offset.
Alternatively, other legal defenses include:
- Good faith. To succeed, the defendant will attempt to prove that they honestly believed they had a right to take the property
- Authority. To succeed, the defendant will attempt to prove they had the legal authority to take the property through their fiduciary relationship
- No demand. To succeed, the defendant will attempt to prove they did not know to return the property because the owner did not make any demand for it
Connecticut embezzlement statute of limitations
Finally, for a felony charge, Connecticut law requires the prosecution to commence prosecution of the crime five years from the date on which the crime occurred. For a misdemeanor charge, the statute of limitations is just one year.
Ultimately, embezzlement is an incredibly complicated crime and the state of Connecticut takes it very seriously. To avoid fines and possible jail time, an embezzlement lawyer is completely necessary for the defense.
Call (203) 624-6115 to schedule a consultation with Knight & Cerritelli in our New Haven office.
NOTE: This is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice.
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