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New York Embezzlement Arrest Process

Facing an arrest for or charge of embezzlement in New York, or any related theft offense, involves a number of defensive steps, many of which can be extremely harrowing and appear life-changing to an untrained eye. From the investigation, to an initial arrest, all the way through to sentencing and serving time in prison, each stage of the process can be fraught with peril and decisions that can have drastic effects on the results of a particular case.

One of the earliest and most critical stages is when the accused person is arrested for the embezzlement charge. The police may go to the person’s residence or their place of business and arrest them in front of family, friends, bosses or colleagues. Even this seemingly minor phase of the case can have life-altering ramifications, and can be easily avoided if an attorney is able to negotiate a surrender of the person to police custody at a pre-arranged location and date/time. However the arrest takes place, it is important for an individual to know their rights during this process, and understand what can and cannot be used from this event in their prospective case. To do so, an individual should not hesitate before contacting a New York theft lawyer.

Investigation and Arrest

Instead of arresting the person at their residence or place of business, law enforcement may call the individual and hope that they are able to confirm their identity, where they live, and possibly get them to come to the station to speak with them about their investigation before formally arresting the person. Officers may sometimes call these individuals and pretend that they are only considering the individual as a witness or interested party to the crime, and they are asking for their cooperation by speaking with them at the police station, as opposed to the reality of being the prime suspect. This kind of subterfuge is generally completely permissible and allowable by law enforcement. Further, law enforcement may stop an individual’s car as part of their investigation, pretending to give a warning for a claimed traffic infraction. This is simply so that law enforcement can get close to an individual prior to their arrest, and attempt to get some information out of them that they don’t realize is relevant.

Avoiding an Admissions

In these kinds of scenarios, a person may decide, without counsel, to speak with the police and answer all their questions. A decision like this may be born out of arrogance or underestimating the sophistication and resources of the NYPD or prosecutor’s offices in investigating complex cases. The reason the police want to talk with you in this kind of scenario is not to give you a chance to apologize so that they’ll drop the case, or to give you an opportunity to explain it away, or point the finger elsewhere. It is most often simply an information gathering exercise, and they already have their minds made up that the individual being questioned committed the crime, regardless of what they say. Even if the person is being dishonest and trying to lead law enforcement astray, the police may still be able to glean valuable information from encounters and interviews like this that could be the difference between an acquittal and conviction down the road. Apologizing, saying where the money went, and promising that they are going to pay stolen money back is not a way to get out of trouble – it’s an admission that will be used against an individual throughout the case.

Gathering Evidence

Law enforcement will most likely be able to uncover the evidence they need in an embezzlement case without the individual coming in and making an admission of guilt, or accidentally providing some key, missing piece of information. For example, an individual may be wiring embezzled money out to other individuals or other accounts they own. Of they may have bought a luxury vehicle with money that otherwise they may not be able to obtain, which can be extremely strong circumstantial evidence of theft. The police will subpoena these kinds records, and can easily obtain all of this kind of evidence and information without any help from the accused, or anyone else for that matter.

Bail and Custody

After being arrested, law enforcement will take an individual into custody. If the charge is a serious felony, as many embezzlement cases are, the individual will be held in custody, brought to central booking of the particular borough if the case is within New York City, and go in front of a judge for their arraignment on the charges. This process can take 24 hours or more, and may result in spending the night in jail, at least.

One of the issues that will be dealt with at arraignment is the individual’s bail and custody status. The judge can decide, after hearing arguments from the defense attorney and prosecutor, to set bail, bond, unsecured bond, partially secured bond, ankle monitoring, pre-trial services, or other restrictions on a person’s freedom and mobility during the pendency of the case. If money bail is being ordered, the judge can order a surety hearing, meaning that the court must be satisfied that the source of the money being used is legitimate an not the proceeds of the alleged criminal activity, which can often be relevant in theft and embezzlement cases for obvious reasons.

As anyone can tell, this legal process can become overwhelming quite quickly, even at this very early stage of a criminal case. An individual should absolutely not proceed without the assistance of an experienced defense attorney.

Call our criminal lawyers and former Manhattan prosecutors at (212) 312-7129 or contact us online today.

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