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Theft and Burglary Lawyers

April 18, 2018

An arrest and charge of theft and burglary can alter your future. If you’re convicted of these crimes, you could face time in jail, heavy fines, and even a criminal record. Without knowing the specifics of your case, it’s possible you could be charged with a misdemeanor crime or a felony. The difference is staggering. It’s the difference between jail and prison, and it’s the difference in your future. The charges depend largely on your own criminal history, and it also depends on the value of the items you stole. Stealing anything exceptionally valuable increases your charges to grand theft, which is a much more serious crime.

Theft and Burglary Charges

If you’re arrested for theft and burglary, perhaps there was a mistake. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time. You had possession of items you didn’t know were stolen after they were given or sold to you by someone else. Perhaps someone falsely identified you or simply lied to get themselves out of trouble. Whatever the case, you were arrested and you should immediately enact your right to contact an attorney.

– Shoplifting
– Armed robbery
– Embezzlement
– Burglary
– Identity theft
– Auto theft
– Possession of stolen property

These are all forms of robbery and theft for which you can be charged, and each one is more serious than the one before. Auto theft, for example, is almost always a grand theft charge because vehicles are so much more valuable than other items you might steal. Shoplifting a few tops from a local store isn’t considered grand theft if they weren’t expensive. You need an attorney regardless what you did or what you were accused of.

What Your Attorney Can Do

If you are not guilty, your attorney will work to prove you were not present at the time of the theft so you cannot be convicted of the crime. If you are guilty, your attorney can work to reduce the charges being brought against you by asking you to plead a certain way, show remorse, or more. You can also have your attorney ask that you exchange jail time for house arrest or heavier fines in conjunction with community service. You might have options if this is your first time being charged with a crime but you don’t know until you contact an attorney.

Theft Crime: Embezzlement Sentencing

Stealing is when you take something that doesn’t belong to you. However, embezzlement is when you take money or property, for example selling a life insurance policy that you don’t own, but you were given legal access. Many circumstances can fall under this category.

Examples of Embezzlement

For instance, if you work at a bank, you work with money each day. However, the bank doesn’t permit you to take some for your own use. If anyone in the company takes money from the bank, it’s considered embezzlement. One of the most common scenarios we find is an officer or someone high up in the company takes funds that belong to the business.

We also see folks handling money for their disabled relatives and taking some for themselves. You can be charged with embezzlement if you are in a position of trust over money or property that belongs to someone else. It’s imperative to keep meticulous records when handling any money or other property.

Punishing Embezzlement

When a person is convicted of embezzlement, they can face a large fine, substantial time in jail, or both. New York has specific rules for this crime, and it depends on the value of the stolen property. Here are the sentencing and fine guidelines for this state:

•Less Than $1,000

Fines up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail

•$1,000 – $3,000

Fines up to $5,000, and up to four years in prison

•$3001 – $50,000

Fines up to $5,000 and up to seven years in prison

•$50,001 – $100,000

Fines up to $15,000 and up to 15 years in prison

•$100,001 and up

Fines up to $30,000 and up to 25 years in prison

Keep in mind that the judge or jury can choose to give both a fine and prison sentence, or they can issue just one form of punishment. The verdict will be determined on the value of the crime and the circumstances. If there are any aggravating factors, then the court will be harsher in their sentencing.

Aggravating Factors

New York will impose stricter penalties in some situations. For instance, if a person embezzles from the elderly or disabled adults, officials use harsher sentencing guidelines. If the accused worked as a public servant or in a bank, then they also will receive harsher sentencing.

When caring for a vulnerable adult, the state will seek to protect that individual more so than they would in dealing with a situation where there is a non-vulnerable adult involved. The prosecutor has no difficulty putting together a case for someone who is indigent and needed help. It’s usually an open and shut ordeal.

The court also takes the job of a public servant seriously. New York can rule to make this person pay a fine, spend time in jail, and they can also make them unable to hold any public office in the future. Since a position of trust was violated, the court sees fit to issue a heightened punishment.

Common Schemes

New York allows the judge to sum the total value of the money or property stolen. If there was a plan or scheme involved, then the judge can aggregate the value. The most common period is one year, though some states don’t impose any such period. A defendant can be charged based on the value alone. Rather than indicting them on several embezzlement claims, they can roll them all together within a specific period.

An example of this would be that a person worked at a grocery store in Manhattan. They took $20 a day from their register for over a year. The total amount stolen was over $7,000. The court wouldn’t waste their time or resources to try each individual claim of embezzlement as it happened daily. However, they would roll them into one case and add up the value overall.

Making Restitution

New York requires that restitution be paid to the victim. A monetary dollar amount will be issued from the court, and that amount is to be reimbursed. Keep in mind; restitution is in addition to any jail or prison time that was handed down. It’s imperative to have legal counsel when facing any embezzlement charges.

If you or a loved one has been accused of embezzlement, then you need to contact the Spodek Law Group as soon as possible. We have more than 50 years of helping clients with cases like this get a favorable outcome. We offer a free consolation, so we can evaluate your situation and form a plan of defense. You could spend a great deal of prison time plus have extensive fines when you get out. Not just any lawyer will do. You want someone who is well versed in this area of law to ensure you get a fair deal.

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