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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26420
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Is it better to turn myself in for Grand Larceny in the Second

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Is it better to turn myself in for Grand Larceny in the Second Degree? The total amount is roughly 85K over 2 years. I want to tell my boss because I don't want to live with the guilt anymore. I have not been charged or suspected but I want to come clean. What can I expect? The theft happened in New York but I currently live in another state. Any advice would be helpful.
Hello Jacustomer,

We have a Constitutional right against self-incrimination and once you give that up, you don't get brownie points for confessing to a criime. What you get is prosecuted.

You can expect 5 years of felony probation with restitution to the company and a felony theft record that will likely prevent you from getting a decent job for the rest of your life. You should be able to avoid jail if it's a first arrest, however the maximum possible sentence for this crime is an indeterminate term of 5 to 15 years of prison.

I do understand that you are having trouble living with the guilt. If you want to do the right thing, you can do it with less harm to yourself. If you have the money you took from the company and/or if you are willing to replace it, contact a local lawyer and let him make payments anonymously for you to make good on what you stole. The company is not likely going to turn the money away. The lawyer must keep your identity confidential, and you might just be able to avoid prosecution.

Good luck!

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX your response. What if I don't have the full amount? I can start selling things to come up with the money.

I am very willing to replace it - I just don't know how. I will do anything to make this right.

You will be required to replace it if you were to turn yourself in. You'd be given reasonable monthly payments and the payments would be monitored by the Department of Probation.

You could probably arrange through a lawyer to make monthly payments as well but in terms of trying to avoid an arrest, it's probably safest to send it all back at once.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Is there really a way to avoid jail time for this? I have a clean record and this would be my first offense. Also, the crime was committed in NY but I recently moved to the Midwest.

Best case, I understand that I would get probation, but can I serve my probation in the Midwest or will I be stuck in NY?

Your lawyer would have to contact probation in your current state to see if they would be willing to supervise you. If so, while New York would retain jurisdiction over the case itself, should you violate the terms of your probation, it could probably be arranged that you do your probation out of state. I can't guarantee that, but i have seen it happen.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
In your expert opinion, what percentage of cases like this, if taken to court, can a person avoid jail time and simply serve probation?

On a first arrest, I actually don't believe I have ever had anyone go to jail on an embezzlement case. The complainant wants the defendant punished, but most of all he wants his money. He's not going to get it quicker if you're in jail.

What would be in your favor would be that you came forward voluntarily to do the right thing, even though you didn't have to. It's a gutsy thing to do and shows strength of character. It also shows remorse, which judges and DAs generally like.

You should use a lawyer anyway to go with you when you turn yourself in.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I was planning to turn myself in to the person directly and confess as opposed to going to the police. If I did it that way, should I take a lawyer with me in that situation?

No, you wouldn't need a lawyer. Just understand that anything you say to someone other than a lawyer gets used against you if your boss then wants to turn around and have you prosecuted., which he likely will.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
If I get arrested, will a lawyer be able to help me make bail? How does the bail process work?

I have gotten advice from other lawyers to just wait until things come to a head but as terrified as I am, I want to come forward and own up to my mistake.

A private attorney might post your bail with the clerk. He should give you an idea of what bail is likely to be so that you have it ready when you need it. The amount is up to the judge and can vary widely. Since this would be a voluntary surrender, you might get released on your own recognizance at your arraignment. In general that would be true of a first arrest of this kind. However, you are not local and the court may need to feel sure that you will return. Again, it is to your benefit that you would be coming back voluntarily.

I am with the other attorneys on this matter. I would never advise a client to stir up a pot that isn't boiling when it's certain to result in an arrest and a felony conviction. However, I understand why you would want to do it.

I am leaving the computer shortly and have plans for the afternoon. If you need another follow up, I will tend to it when I return. Good luck!
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