Embezzlement definition: what is it?
Keeping money, goods, and properties that is legally handed over to you for the time being because you are an employee of the receiving business or you are renting something is a type of theft crime in Nevada called embezzlement.
Not many are familiar with embezzlement definition and sometimes think taking possessions legally owned by a company or institution is only classified as theft but it is actually on a different level and holds a distinct set of consequences. In this article, we will be learning about the embezzlement definition according to the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) and the grounds that it covers so you will know what will happen and what to do if you are suddenly a suspect of such crime.
Embezzlement definition: What counts as embezzlement?
As stated in Chapter 205 of the NRS, embezzlement is the act of converting money, goods, and property to his or her own use with the intention to steal from the owners of a business or a company. In short, embezzlement is taking what is legally owned by an establishment but is entrusted to you and keep it as yours. Prime examples of embezzlement are cashiers putting money in their pocket rather than the cash registrar or taking home clothes that are stocked for future selling.
Embezzlement can also take the form of contractors not paying for labor or material as shown in Chapter 205.310 or not returning vehicles that are either rented or leased. It can also be done digitally through sending money to your account using wire transfer or other similar techniques.
What are the consequences of embezzlement and how many years in prison does it bring? We learn about it below.
What happens if you are caught with embezzlement in Nevada?
Many offenders of embezzlement are caught in the act or by surveillance footages. Most of these offenders are employees of a particular company or business.
After the initial arrest, someone accused of embezzlement in Nevada will have to face the usual procedure of booking, where fingerprint, photograph, and persona information will be extracted. After this, a prosecutor will be assigned on the case who will decide what charges the accused deserves. Next comes arraignment and the rest of the trial process.
As seen in the NRS 205.0835, someone who has committed embezzlement in Nevada will get charges of the following:
For properties or services valued less than $650, the charges will be a misdemeanor that usually holds milder penalties. However, if you steal properties or services valued for more than $650 but less than $3,500, you are committing category C felony with consequences such as:
- Imprisonment in the state prison of not less than one year and not more than five years
- Fines of $10,000
If what is taken is more than $3,500 in value, you are guilty of category B felony with penalties of:
- One to 10 years in prison
- Fines of not more than $10,000
Also according to NRS 205.0835, the court also may or may not impose reinstitution to the company where the embezzlement was done.
Take note that these penalties are general ground rules for theft crimes in Nevada and usually will apply for first-time offenders of embezzlement. They can change depending on the factors of the specific case.
What are the defenses against embezzlement charges in Nevada?
It happens. An innocent employee accused of embezzlement because he or she was in the wrong place at the wrong time or been actually setup by co-workers or customers. Good thing theft crimes can be disproven as there are numerous sources of pieces of evidence that can be checked.
No intent to embezzle
Stating that you are innocent of embezzling is one of the most clear-cut defenses that you can give. Support this with claims that you actually own the money as you actually own the business or the owner wants you to keep the money as you did. Another thing you could use as a defense under this argument is that pocketing the money or other resources were done by mistake or you’ve always intended to put it where it belongs.
This is where you use the defense that you were baited to commit embezzling. However, be forewarned that prosecutors like to turn the tables by saying that you will not be entrapped if you do not have aims to embezzle in the first place.
Not enough evidence
For embezzlement to be outright proven, there need to be hard pieces of evidence presented. If you are sure that there is not enough evidence to prosecute you such as eyewitnesses, footages, or even audio recordings then use this defense to your favor.
You can also use the defense of duress where you affirm that you or your family will be in harm if you did not embezzle. For example, a certain someone is threatening your life if you do not pay the debt that you have. This defense, in particular, will not work if you state that your family just needs money to get by or when you are satisfying addiction.
Insanity or Incapacity
Embezzling can be done out of the will if the person is suffering from insanity or is mentally incapacitated. You can utilize this defense if it’s appropriate for you.
Humans are always susceptible to error and there will come a time where one becomes tempted to keep what is not theirs. For further information on why you should not engage on thievery and definition of embezzlement, here is a comprehensive blog that talks about the other theft crimes that will get you penalized in the state of Nevada so you will know how to differentiate embezzlement from the others.
To help yourself if you are accused of embezzlement (whether you did it or not), you will need to gear yourself with more information about embezzlement’s definition and enlist the services of a criminal defense attorney operating in Las Vegas and other Nevada counties.