Criminal Law Questions? Ask a Criminal Lawyer.
Hello Jacustomer,This is embezzlement, which is a fraud/theft offense. If you took more than $1,000 but less than $20,000, it is a class 4 felony in Colorado That has a minimum penalty of a year in prison and a maximum of 12.So it would not be a good idea to come forward with what you have done. You should instead start looking for a local criminal lawyer, because if/when you are confronted with this, you should have representation before you talk to HR or to the police. The fact that you used these to pay bonuses to company workers rather than for your own personal gain counts in your favor, but it's still money you had no authority to take. Despite the penalty possibilities, the odds are very high that if you are charged with this your lawyer would be able to negotiate a probation offer. The company will want its money back, and they have a better chance of getting it if you are at liberty. But you don't want to have this kind of an offense on your record if at all possible to avoid it -- it is the type of an offense that will make securing another job very difficult. So exercising your right against self incrimination will allow your lawyer flexibility when he's negotiating for you. A confession to your employers would tie his hands if the matter comes to court and result in a less favorable dispostion.
Don't talk about this without a lawyer.
Would a criminal lawyer be able to talk to the company without incriminating myself? Before criminal charges are filed that is.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).