Embezzlement charge in Wake County North Carolina § 14-90

February 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Criminal Law

Embezzlement charge in Wake County North Carolina § 14-90

The charge of Embezzlement § 14-90 is one of the more common financial crimes charged in Wake County, North Carolina. The charge of Embezzlement is usually an accusation by an employer that an employee fraudulently used or took money / cash or company property that the employee was entrusted with and used it in a manner that they were not allowed.

Embezzlement is a very serious crime in North Carolina. In most cases an Embezzlement charge in North Carolina will be punished as a Class H Felony. Under current felony sentencing structure in North Carolina a class H felony has a maximum punishment of 25 months active per charge. The felony sentencing in North Carolina is guided by the defendant’s prior record level and can vary greatly depending on which felony sentencing level the defendant falls under. In cases where the amount of funds (or value of property) is more than $100,000 the Felony Class goes up to a level C Felony. A Class C felony in North Carolina has a maximum punishment of 182 months active.

It is important to have a real conversation with your criminal defense lawyer about the best and worst possible outcome of each and every charge against you. If you have been charged with embezzlement or any financial crime you should contact a lawyer who deals with that type of law. There are many rights and options that need to be explained to you before you walk into a courtroom to face these charges. In some circumstances it may even be possible for your criminal defense lawyer to resolve the matter without you having to ever go to court. It is important to remember that there are many different situations or financial transactions (some accidental and some knowingly) that can lead charges of Embezzlement. No case is ever the same and no particular outcome can be guaranteed.

What is embezzlement?

Embezzlement is when a person fraudulently uses the property or money of another for a purpose other than that for which the person received it and while that person was entrusted with the safe keeping of that property or money.

How is embezzlement different than larceny? Embezzlement Vs. Larceny

Larceny is the taking of another person’s property or money with the intent to permanently deprive them of its use. A classic example is when a teenager goes into a store like Wal-Mart and takes a pair of jeans without paying for them. Embezzlement is similar to larceny, but it must involve someone taking (or giving away, misappropriating or misusing) property or money they were entrusted with. A classic example would be if an employee Wal-Mart such as a cashier took money out of her cash register for her own use. In this case the theft came from someone who was entrusted with the safe keeping of that property.

If I have been charged with Embezzlement can I just return the money and have the charges dropped?

The short answer is NO, the charges will not be dropped if you simply payback the money. But, there are countless reasons and variation of situations that can change this answer. No case is ever the exact same and needs to be treated and defended as such. In general the charges brought against you were brought by the State of North Carolina. If you have been charged, your case is considered (and referred to as) The State of North Carolina VS. Defendant… Not Wal-Mart VS. Defendant. So, while the employer victim may have some say in the outcome of the case, it is ultimately up to the Wake County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute or not prosecute the case.

What does the North Carolina General Statute say?

§ 14 90. Embezzlement of property received by virtue of office or employment.
(a) This section shall apply to any person:
(1) Exercising a public trust.
(2) Holding a public office.
(3) Who is a guardian, administrator, executor, trustee, or any receiver, or any other fiduciary, including, but not limited to, a settlement agent, as defined in G.S. 45A 3.
(4) Who is an officer or agent of a corporation, or any agent, consignee, clerk, bailee or servant, except persons under the age of 16 years, of any person.
(b) Any person who shall:
(1) Embezzle or fraudulently or knowingly and willfully misapply or convert to his own use, or
(2) Take, make away with or secrete, with intent to embezzle or fraudulently or knowingly and willfully misapply or convert to his own use,
any money, goods or other chattels, bank note, check or order for the payment of money issued by or drawn on any bank or other corporation, or any treasury warrant, treasury note, bond or obligation for the payment of money issued by the United States or by any state, or any other valuable security whatsoever that (i) belongs to any other person or corporation, unincorporated association or organization or (ii) are closing funds as defined in G.S. 45A 3, which shall have come into his possession or under his care, shall be guilty of a felony.
(c) If the value of the property described in subsection (b) of this section is one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or more, the person is guilty of a Class C felony. If the value of the property is less than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), the person is guilty of a Class H felony.

What is Domestic Violence?

What is considered Domestic Violence? How is Domestic Violence defined in North Carolina?

The State of North Carolina defines Domestic Violence by statute in § 50B-1. Domestic violence means the commission of one or more of the following acts upon an aggrieved party or upon a minor child residing with or in the custody of the aggrieved party by a person with whom the aggrieved party has or has had a personal relationship, but does not include acts of self-defense.

These acts are set by statute:

1. Attempting to cause bodily injury, or intentionally causing bodily injury
2. Placing the aggrieved party or a member of the aggrieved party’s family or household in fear of imminent serious bodily injury or continued harassment, as defined in G.S. 14-277.3A, that rises to such a level as to inflict substantial emotional distress.
3. Committing any act defined in G.S. 14-27.2 through G.S. 14-27.7.
a. § 14 27.2. First degree rape.
b. § 14 27.3. Second degree rape.
c. § 14 27.4. First degree sexual offense.
d. § 14 27.5. Second degree sexual offense.
e. § 14 27.6: Repealed by Session Laws 1994, Ex. Sess., c. 14, s. 71(3).
f. § 14 27.7. Intercourse and sexual offenses with certain victims; consent no defense.

What does a “personal relationship” mean in Domestic Violence cases?

1. Current or former spouses
2. Persons of opposite sex who live together or have at some time lived together
3. Related as parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren and other parental relationships.
4. A man and woman who have a child in common
5. Current or former household members
6. Persons of the opposite sex who are in a dating relationship or have been in a dating relationship. The dating relationship has to be romantic in nature and more than just friends or casual acquaintances.

The large majority of criminal domestic cases in Wake County involve assault(s) between a man and woman who have a sexual relationship and live together. These include Simple Assault, Assault on a Female, Assault by Strangulation and various Sexual Assaults. Domestic violence or DV cases in Wake County are taken very seriously by police, magistrates, defense attorneys and district attorneys because of the potentially dangerous nature of the situation.

Are gay or lesbian couples subject to Domestic Violence charges?

Yes, in the sense they can be charged with assaulting each other, but North Carolina does not place the “48 Hold” for domestic violence arrests on gay or lesbian couples. That means that they can be charged with the same crimes as heterosexual couples, such as assault and battery, but they will not be subject to the pre-trail release condition of bond only being issued by a district court judge. If someone in a gay or lesbian relationship is charge with a Domestic Violence related crime a Magistrate will set their bond or other pre-trial release conditions.

Do I need a lawyer to get a protective order? Should I get an attorney if I am a victim of Domestic Violence?

By statue you may file for a 50B Domestic Violence Protective Order without a lawyer. This is considered acting Pro Se or representing yourself. In all legal matters you always have the option of representing yourself, but it may be in your best interest to contact a lawyer who handles domestic violence cases. They will be able to provide vital insight and guide you through the process while protecting your rights. If you cannot afford to hire a private attorney for domestic civil matters you should contact Legal Aid of North Carolina or other non-profit groups like Interact. They provide extremely valuable services to individuals in domestic violence situations.

Contact info for free legal services in Wake County for Domestic Violence:

Interact of Wake County

1012 Oberlin Road Raleigh, NC 27605
(919) 828-7501

Legal Aid of North Carolina
224 South Dawson Street Raleigh, NC 27601-1306
(919) 856-2180

Criminal Lawyer for North Carolina State University Students

October 31, 2011 by  
Filed under Criminal Law

Criminal Lawyer for North Carolina State University Students

It is sadly common for college age kids to be charged with criminal offense during their time at school.  The Gurney Law Firm offers criminal representation to students from all the universities in the Triangle and eastern North Carolina.  That includes students from NC State, Duke, UNC, Peace College, Meredith, Wake Tech, ECU and every university in between.

The most common charges students pick up are alcohol and drug related misdemeanors.  That includes DWI, underage drinking, simple possession of marijuana and the use of false or fake ID.  Also, alcohol / Bar related fights can bring charges of Assault, Simple Affray, and Injury to Personal Property.   Less often students will be charged with serious felony charges.  These are usually felony drug charges.

If you are a student and have been charged with a criminal offense I urge you to contact a criminal lawyer in Raleigh.  The Gurney Law Firm handles all types of Misdemeanor and Felonies in Raleigh, Wake County and the Triangle.   We also help in getting your NC criminal record expunged.  This is very important for young people and students because a criminal record may negatively affect your future employment and graduate school.

Speeding Ticket Quotas in North Carolina… G.S. 20-187.3?

October 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Traffic Law

Speeding Ticket Quotas in North Carolina… G.S. 20-187.3?


After receiving a speeding ticket in Raleigh, a woman wondered to herself, “Why didn’t the officer just cut her a break and give her a warning?  Why did the officer feel he needed to give her a speeding ticket?  Do police officers in Wake County have a certain quota of tickets they have to give out each month? ”

A recent posting on the UNC School of government took a look at the legality of quotas of this kind and concluded that “the use of quotas for officers doesn’t seem to be widespread.”  Also, a poll conducted by the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) showed that police seem not to use speeding ticket quotas.

In some states they have specific statutes that outlaw the use of traffic ticket quotas and other quotas for criminal charges.  North Carolina does not have a general anti-quota statute.  However, there is a North Carolina General Statute that does specifically prohibit the North Carolina State Highway Patrol
for using speeding ticket quotas.  It can be found at G.S. 20-187.3 and it provides that “[t]he Secretary of Crime Control and Public Safety shall not make or permit to be made any order, rule, or regulation requiring the issuance of any minimum number of traffic citations, or ticket quotas, by any member or members of the State Highway Patrol. Pay and promotions of members of the Highway Patrol shall be based on their overall job performance and not on the basis of the volume of citations issued or arrests made.”

After talking to police offers in Raleigh and Wake County I feel that the general use of quotas are not being used.

If you or someone you know has been charged with a Wake County Speeding ticket or a Raleigh traffic ticket I urge you to call The Gurney Law Firm at (919) 930-4027.  Mr. Gurney is a Raleigh criminal defense lawyer.  The Gurney Law Firm serves all of Wake County including Raleigh, Durham, Apex, Cary, Wake Forest, Rolesville, Zebulon, Holly Springs, Garner, Morrisville, Wendell, Knightdale and Fuquay-Varina.

Death Penalty Losing Support?

October 25, 2011 by  
Filed under Criminal Law

Death Penalty Losing Support?

A new Gallup Poll shows that support for using the death penalty in cases of murder is down to 61%.  That is a 3% drop in support from last year.  The poll shows this is the lowest level of support since 1972, the year the Supreme Court voided all existing state death penalty laws in Furman v. Georgia.

Support rose to its highest levels from the mid-1980s through the mid-1990s,  including the all-time high of 80% who favored the death penalty in 1994.  But since that high there has been a marked decline of 19% over the past 17 years, and a 3-point drop from last year’s measure.

Gallup reports “The Oct. 6-9 poll was conducted shortly after the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia, which generated widespread protests and extensive news coverage. This could help explain the slight drop in support for the death penalty this year. However, there have been high-profile executions in the news in previous years without concomitant drops in death penalty support, making it less clear that such events have a direct impact on attitudes.”

The poll also shows that people in the South and Mid-West support the death penalty more than in the rest of the country.

If you have been charged with a crime in North Carolina I urge you to contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Eric Gurney at (919) 930-4027.

Will My Mug Shot be in “The Slammer?”

October 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Criminal Law

If I get arrested will my mug shot be in “The Slammer?”

This is a question I hear a lot as a criminal defense attorney in Raleigh.  I heard it even more in my previous career as a Wake County Magistrate.  I always give the same answer…. “Maybe.”

Unfortunately this answer usually does not satisfy the person asking it.  But it is the right answer.  And it might not seem fair to the  person whose face will be plastered in stores around Raleigh.  “It’s not fair” I remember one arrestee telling me, “I am innocent of the charges I have been arrested for and now this embarrassing picture of me will be all over the place!”

Well, technically the image is public record and is available to the public through different law enforcement agencies.   The Slammer gets it mug shot from the City-County Bureau of Identification who processes all of the arrestees in Wake County.

For those of you who are not familiar with the “Slammer,” let me see if I can explain.  Basically it is a weekly publication filled with mug shots of people that have been arrested and little article on crime.  It is available in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina (Raleigh / Triangle Area and Mecklenburg Co.), Ohio, Kansas and Texas.  A new issue comes out every Friday and is sold in convince stores in the stated markets.

Around Raleigh you can find The Slammer at most gas stations and convince stores.  Many people have mixed feelings about The Slammer.  Some feel it is in bad taste and others think it is a great service to the community.  The magazine states that “The Slammer‘s mission is to help reduce crime, locate missing persons, bring fugitives to justice and provide information that assists authorities in making our communities safer.”

If you are arrested in Raleigh or the Triangle… there is a chance
you mug shot will be in “The Slammer.”