What Are the Consequences of Embezzlement in New Mexico?
The consequences of embezzlement in New Mexico are steep. Depending upon the degree of the offense resulting in a conviction, you can face up to a maximum of nine (9) years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines, plus victim restitution.
However, you have the opportunity to fight your charges in criminal court. Hire a New Mexico criminal defense lawyer to devise a case strategy and protect your rights. He or she can investigate your allegations while pointing out weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case against you.
How Does New Mexico Define Embezzlement?
Embezzlement is an acutely specific legal term. Aside from taking money or property, there are other elements that the prosecutor must prove in order to try it as an embezzlement case.
Since the burden of proof rests on their shoulders, prosecutors must prove ALL of the following elements under NMSA § 30-16-8 (1978):
- The defendant was entrusted with property or money
- The property or money that was entrusted to the defendant had a value of $$$$ (The amount determines the severity of the crime charged.)
- The defendant converted the property or money to the defendant’s own use
- It was used for personal gain
- The defendant acted with fraudulent intent at the time the defendant converted the property or money
If the prosecutors assigned to your case cannot prove AT LEAST ONE of these elements, you cannot receive a conviction. It is vital to know that embezzlement cases require a strong defensive strategy, which means that you should hire a criminal defense lawyer in New Mexico with a reputation for positive results as soon as possible.
What Are the Maximum Penalties for an Embezzlement?
Like other states, New Mexico classifies embezzlement offenses according to the property value converted. Embezzlement charges range widely from a petty misdemeanor to a second-degree felony.
The maximum penalties for embezzlement by each classification are as follows:
- Petty misdemeanor ($250 or less): Punishable by no more than six (6) months of incarceration in county jail or a fine not to exceed $500, or both.
- Misdemeanor (more than $250, but not over $500): Punishable by a term of incarceration of one (1) year or less in the county jail, a fine of no more than $1,000, or both.
- Fourth-degree felony (more than $500, but not over $2,500): Punishable by eighteen (18) months of imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
- Third-degree felony (more than $2500, but not over $25,000): Punishable by three (3) years of imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
- Second-degree felony (more than $25,000): Punishable by nine (9) years of imprisonment and a $10,000 fine.
How Do You Defend Your Embezzlement Charges?
Hiring a New Mexico criminal defense lawyer is the best way to protect your rights and defend your embezzlement charges. Embezzlement cases typically involve a “paper trail” directly or indirectly linking you to the crime. An attorney can work toward creating a reasonable doubt regarding the evidence that prosecutors may have against you.
We will investigate assumptions, contest inconsistencies, and root out errors in evidence or testimony. The defenses used are different for every client and customized for their situation.
However, I may use any of the following defensive strategies, including:
- You did not convert the property or money
- The amount alleged to have been converted is more than the amount the prosecution can prove
- Your action were authorized
- The accuser does not have the necessary paper trail to prove the charge
- There is not enough evidence against you
- You did not intend to commit a crime
- You were under duress
- Entrapment triggered the conversion
- The prosecutor filed charges after the statute of limitations
No matter how your case is playing out, it is crucial that you speak with a criminal defense lawyer in New Mexico immediately. The statements you make, however innocuous or sarcastic, can come back to haunt you later on. Hire a tenacious and unrelenting legal representative to fight back.
What Is New Mexico’s Statute of Limitations on Embezzlement Cases?
In New Mexico, a statute of limitations applies to criminal matters. A statute of limitations is the amount of time that prosecutors have to file charges against you. As with penalties, the statute of limitations varies according to the classification of the crime.
According to NMSA § 30-1-8 (1978), the statute of limitations for each classification is as follows:
- Petty misdemeanor: One (1) years from the date the crime was allegedly committed.
- Misdemeanor: Two (2) years from the date the crime was allegedly committed.
- Fourth- or third-degree felony: Five (5) years from the date the crime was allegedly committed.
- Second-degree felony: Six (6) years from the date the crime was allegedly committed.
As you can see, there is a significant window that prosecutors have to file charges against you. Make sure that you do not face these charges without representation. The consequences are too steep, and you CAN defend yourself in court.
Call Grano Law Offices, P.C. for a FREE CASE STRATEGY SESSION
Determine what your legal options are by calling Grano Law Offices, P.C. for a completely free, no-obligation case strategy session. It is your opportunity to learn more about what I think of your case and how I can help.