21 Aug 23


| by

Last Updated on: 3rd October 2023, 06:52 pm

Some crimes are less obvious than others and more difficult to detect, as they involve a high level of technical skills, financial or business knowledge and/or the use of specific devices. These are called white collar crime. Under criminal defense Arizona law, these offences are:

  • Embezzlement
  • Tax fraud
  • Identity fraud
  • Credit card fraud
  • Forgery.

In this article, we will analyze each of these offenses and explain what kind of classification they have according to the Arizona Revised Statutes.

1. Embezzlement


According to the US Department of Justice, embezzlement represents “the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom such property has been entrusted, or into whose hands it has lawfully come”.

In criminal defense Arizona law, this offense is enshrined in ARS 13-1802 – Theft at item B – taking control of the property of a vulnerable adult, while acting in a position of trust and confidence. The classification of this offence depends on the value of the embezzled item.

Thus, for values under $1,000, the charge is a class 1 misdemeanor (6 months in prison, maximum $2,500 fine). For any dollar amount exceeding $1,000 you will be charged with a felony (class 6 for amounts up to $2,000 and upwards until class 2 for amounts exceeding $25,000).

2. Tax Fraud
Under criminal defense Arizona law, tax fraud (ARS 42-15055) represents the failure to:


  • knowingly file any report of taxable property
  • provide the assessor with information regarding such property
  • deliver a report as required by ARS 42-15052 (for businesses and associations).

Tax frauds will be treated as class 2 misdemeanors by the court and carry a sentence consisting of:

  • maximum 4 months in jail
  • maximum $750 fine
  • 2 years probation.

3. Identity Fraud
Arizona Revised Statutes 13-2006 defines criminal impersonation (the legal name of identity fraud) as:


  • Assuming a false identity with the purpose of defrauding another person
  • Pretending to be a representative of a person or organization with the purpose of defrauding
  • Pretending to be or assuming the false identity of an employee or representative with the purpose of gaining access to a property.

Identity fraud offenses are class 6 felonies and punishable with 4 months to 2 years in prison.

4. Credit Card Fraud
The fraudulent use of a credit card (ARS 13-2105) involves:


  • Using a forged, expired, revoked or canceled credit card with the purpose of obtaining money, goods, services or anything of value
  • Representing to be the cardholder, without the knowledge or approval of the real cardholder, in order to obtain money, goods, services or any item of value.

Credit card fraud represents a class 1 misdemeanor, carrying a sentence consisting of:

  • Maximum 6 months in jail
  • Maximum $2,500 fine
  • 3 years probation.

5. Forgery
Under criminal defense Arizona law enshrined in ARS 13-2002 represents:


  • Falsely making, completing or altering a written instrument
  • Knowingly possessing a forged instrument
  • Offering or presenting a forged instrument, irrespective if it is accepted or not.

Thus, forgery covers any type of instruments used for the purchase of goods and services, such as:

  • Banknotes and coins
  • Checks
  • Bonds
  • Shares.

Forgery is a class 4 felony and carries a sentence between 1 year and 6 months and 3 years in prison.

Let an Experienced Criminal Defense Arizona Law Attorney Represent You!

White collar crimes are difficult to defend on your own. You may have made an honest error or fallen victim to a scheme (such as becoming a money mule while thinking that you are performing a legitimate job).

Whatever the case may be, a skilled criminal defense Arizona law attorney is ready to analyze your case and represent you during all the phases of the criminal case. We will fight to get the charges dismissed or your sentence reduced, so call us now!