Embezzlement – s 157 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)
Faced with embezzlement charges with the possibility of a criminal conviction or prison is daunting. Our specialist criminal defence lawyers are highly experienced and well versed with the law on these charges, appearing daily in courts all over Sydney and interstate. Their main focus and specialisation is on getting charges dropped or downgraded early, something they have been successful at doing for over 20 years.
Your Options in Court
PLEADING NOT GUILTY
You can be found guilty to an embezzlement by clerk or servant charge only if police can prove each of the following elements:
- You were employed by the employer; and
- You delivered, received or took possession of the property or money in either the employer’s name, on account of, or for the employer; and
- You dishonestly obtained possession of the property or money before the employer obtained possession of it
You will be not guilty, and your charge dismissed if police are unable to prove any one of the above elements beyond reasonable doubt.
Defences to this charge
You will be not guilty if:
- The employer already obtained the custody and control of the property before you took it
- Claim of right: where you honestly believed you had a legal right to the property
- At the time of taking the property, you had no intention to permanently deprive the employer of it
- Lost property: where you found lost property
- You were unaware you even had possession of the property
- You did not actually take the property away
- Duress or necessity
You will be found not guilty and your charge dismissed if any one of the above defences apply to your case. Our senior lawyers will analyse your case, point out, and strengthen any defences that may be available to you. They hold a proven track record of successfully getting charges dropped early by focusing on negotiations with police.
If pleading guilty to embezzlement charges, the following are very important tips and hints on how to prepare your case to maximise your chances at getting the best possible and most lenient punishment in court. This can include avoiding a criminal conviction under a s10 or even avoiding prison.
25% Discount on punishment
Pleading guilty early enough in your case for embezzlement charges will allow the Judge to give you a lighter punishment due to receiving an automatic 25% discount on your punishment. This allows the Judge to take the early plea of guilty as an expression of your remorse and contrition, giving your case leniency and better outcome.
Pleading guilty later in your case causes the discount to reduce, meaning you will loose out on this window of opportunity. This will result in a heavier punishment which is why it’s important to get experienced and practical advice as early as possible in your case.
Good character references
Your court outcome can be improved with a lighter punishment from the Judge if you give the Judge to read powerful good character references expressing your insight into your offending behaviour, remorse, shame, and your exceptional good character. These can be from a friend, family member, charity, work colleague or employer expressing the effect of a conviction on your job, and even a letter of apology from you.
Our senior lawyers are experts with significant experience, and will guide you every step of the way to ensure that each of your character references have its full potential effect towards a better outcome to your case.
Negotiate to drop charges
For over 20 years, our team of senior lawyers have successfully negotiated with police to drop or downgrade their clients charges of embezzlement more often than you would think. This is because they pride themselves as being specialists in getting charges dropped early, often achieved by familiarising themselves with the police evidence, before pointing out all the holes in it to police.
It’s important that your defence lawyer has the experience and ability to devise the best approach with your case, to maximise your chances at successfully achieving this. Speak to one of our senior lawyers now for realistic advice on your chances, and how to strengthen it.
On countless occasions over the years, our team of senior lawyers have managed to convince police to change the set of police facts. These set of facts express what happened, how you did it, and the amount of money involved in the offending conduct you plead guilty to. This should be done early in your case, to ensure the facts express you in a better and more accurate picture of what occurred so that the Judge reading it will more likely give you a lighter punishment and better outcome.
Often the police will initially draft the set of facts about what you did after a plea of guilty is entered. This is often one sided, putting you in the worst light. You must object to this, and begin negotiations by reading and knowing the police evidence, point out each hole in it before tactfully approaching police to change the facts.
Getting a well drafted powerful psychologist or Pyschiatrist court report can improve the outcome of your case to a significant extent getting you a much lighter punishment, even avoiding a criminal conviction. The report should be from an experienced and respected psychologist, and it should express your mental state of mind at the time, your remorse, shame, insight into your offence, and a plan forward to rehabilitation.
Our lawyers use only the best psychologists and psychiatrists in Australia and refer clients to the best suited one for the case. This maximises your chances at getting the best possible court outcome, especially when each report will be reviewed by our team of lawyers before handing it to the Judge to read.
The maximum punishment the court can ever give is up to 10 years imprisonment for a charge of embezzlement.
If the value of the property taken is more than $5,000, the Local Court can give a maximum punishment of up to 2 years imprisonment. If the value of the property is less than $5,000, he Local Court can give a maximum punishment of up to 12 months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $5,500.
If the value of the property taken is less than $2,000, the Local Court can give a maximum punishment of up to $2,200 and/or a term of imprisonment of up to 12 months.
The courts rarely ever gives the maximum which is given only to the most serious offenders. See below for other types of punishment the Judge can give you.
Types of punishment
The above points, and more, will help the Judge determine which one of the following types of punishment you get:
- Section 10 non conviction.
- Section 9 good behaviour bond
- Community Service Order
- Section 12 suspended sentence
- Intensive Corrections Order
- Home Detention
- Full Time Imprisonment
For realistic and practical advice, with experienced preparation and powerful court representation, speak to one of our senior criminal defence lawyers specialising in embezzlement charges.