Embezzlement in New Mexico Explained by Santa Fe Embezzlement Attorney
Many people associate the crime of embezzlement with rich CEOs sneaking off with thousands of dollars of company money and hiding it away. This is one form of embezzlement, but a Santa Fe Embezzlement Attorney will explain that embezzlement is a property crime, and can be applied to the theft of property in general, not just money. The laws around embezzlement are more wide-ranging than you might think.
What is Embezzlement?
A Santa Fe Embezzlement Attorney can offer a more general definition of embezzlement: it is when someone who has been entrusted to safeguard or monitor money or property on someone else’s behalf steals some of that money for personal gain. What makes this different from burglary or robbery is that the person had been given legal access to the property by its owner, unlike a robbery, whereby the robber illegally used force to get the property. In other words, an act of stealing becomes embezzlement if it happened as the result of violating the property owner’s special position of trust. There are many circumstances beyond the CEO of a company siphoning off funds that constitute embezzlement. A bank teller is entrusted to handle the funds of his or her customers but not take any of it. Family members who have been entrusted to manage the finances of a disabled or ill relative can abuse that trust and commit embezzlement. Essentially, anyone who has been given a position of trust over someone else’s property or money is in a position to commit embezzlement.
What is the Punishment?
Embezzlement is not only punished at the state level, but at the local level as well, so confer with your Santa Fe Embezzlement Attorney to find out how a charge is likely to be received by the judges and courthouses in your area. According to New Mexico law, the statutory punishments for embezzlement depend on the value of the property or money stolen. If it was less than $250, penalties may include a fine of no more than $500, or six months in jail. At the other end of the spectrum, stealing more than $20,000 may incur a fine of up to $10,000, nine years in prison, or both. There are also intermediate levels of punishment for stolen property values of less than $500, less than $2,500, and less than $20,000.
Are Automobiles Included?
Embezzlement of a motor vehicle is handled under a different statute, and the penalties depend upon whether the defendant is facing a first or subsequent conviction. For the first conviction, the penalty may be up to 18 months in prison or a fine of up to $5,000 or both. For the second, it will be up to three years in prison or a fine of up to $5,000. For a third or later conviction, it may be up to nine years in prison or $10,000.
Seek Legal Assistance From A Santa Fe Embezzlement Attorney
For more information on embezzlement and how we can defend you against charges of embezzlement, contact the top rated Santa Fe Embezzlement Attorney from Twohig Law Firm today. Call (505) 898-0400 for a free initial consultation.