The word "embezzlement" immediately triggers images of corporate espionage and stolen money. In Arizona and many other states, however, the actual crime of embezzlement is much broader, and applies to the theft of any kind of property. Specifically, Arizona defines embezzlement as a crime that occurs when a person - who was entrusted to monitor, manage or protect someone else's property (which includes money) steals all or part of that property for their own personal gain.
The key aspect of embezzlement is that the person guilty of embezzlement had legal or authorized access to someone else's property, but not full, outright or official ownership of it. This authorized access, when added to the crime of stealing - which is just the theft of property - creates the crime of embezzlement. Read on to learn more about Arizona embezzlement laws.
Arizona Embezzlement Laws at a Glance
The penalties of embezzlement in Arizona are covered by the below table.
Crime / Penalties
If a person embezzles $25,000 or more, they will be guilty of:
If a person embezzles $4,000 or more, but less than $25,000, they are guilty of:
If a person embezzles $3,000 or more, but less than $4,000, or if a person steals a vehicle engine or transmission (regardless of value) they are guilty of:
If a person embezzles $2,000 or more, but less than $3,000, they are guilty of:
If a person embezzles $1,000 or more, but less than $2,500, of if a person steals a firearm or an animal for the purposes of animal fighting, they are guilty of:
If a person embezzles less than $1,000 or more, they are guilty of:
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Potential Defenses to Embezzlement
A potential defense to embezzlement can be made if the person accused of embezzlement can establish that the property (which was embezzled) was actually given as a gift by somebody else. Speak to an attorney to learn more about other possible defenses that may apply to your circumstances.
Research The Law:
Get Legal Help with Your Embezzlement Case in Arizona
Arizona treats embezzlement as a serious crime, and conviction under Arizona embezzlement laws can result in severe criminal penalties. However, you may have a valid defense to embezzlement if, for example, you were given property or money as a gift. If you've been arrested for embezzlement, or want to learn more about Arizona embezzlement laws, it's a good idea to get in touch with a skilled criminal defense attorney in your area.
Contact a qualified attorney.