CALL/TXT EMPLOYMENT ATTORNEY KEN PARKINSON (801) 373-6345 What Happens When Companies Accuse Employees of Theft in Utah?
This is Ken Parkinson. During my 29 years practicing law, I’ve represented employees who have been accused of stealing from their employer. Sometimes the employer sues the employee for the alleged theft. Sometimes the employee is charged with theft by deception. Occasionally, employees are sued civilly by their employer, and they then face criminal charges of theft by deception. I have helped employees in all these scenarios.
Utah Criminal Theft by Deception Charges.
Today I’m going to focus on the criminal charges of theft by deception.
“Theft by Deception” is a crime that involves someone obtaining or exercising control over another person’s property with the purpose of depriving them of that property. In Utah, theft by deception can range from a misdemeanor to a second-degree felony.
Examples of Theft by Deception in Utah.
Examples of theft by deception could include such things as:
- Unauthorized use of company property.
- Unauthorized alteration or manipulation of computer files, for personal financial gain.
- Unauthorized use of logos, trademarks, copyrights, etc.
- Theft or misappropriation of funds, supplies, property, or other resources.
- Personally representing company clients for pay in secret competition with employer.
- Falsification of reports to management or external agencies, for personal gain.
- falsification of financial reports.
- Improper handling or reporting of financial transactions.
- Authorizing or receiving compensation for goods not received or services not performed.
- Authorizing or receiving compensation for hours not worked.
- Authorizing or receiving reimbursement for expenses not incurred.
- Falsification or unauthorized alteration of time or leave records.
Where is Utah’s Theft by Deception Statute Found?
The Utah Code § 76-6-405 states that a person commits theft by deception if they obtain or exercise control over another person’s property by deception and with the purpose to deprive the other person of property.
Theft by Deception Penalties in Utah Criminal Law.
The penalties for theft by deception in Utah are:
Third Degree Felony is punishable by:
0-5 years in Prison. Up to 0-364 Days in Jail, or Probation, or a combination of jail and probation.
Fine: Up to the max of: $5,000?.
Second Degree Felony is punishable by: 0-15 years in Prison. Up to 0-364 Days in Jail, or Probation, or a combination of jail and probation.
Fine: Up to the max of: $10,000
Class A Misdemeanor is punishable by: 0-364 Days in Jail, or Probation, or a combination of jail and probation.
Fine: Up to the max of: $2,500.
Common Probation Terms for Theft by Deception.
Types of Probation: In Utah if you are convicted of Theft By Deception count on being on court probation, supervised probation or Adult Probation & Parole through the Utah Department of Corrections.
Commonly Misdemeanor A Theft by Deception convictions will place you on court probation, the lowest lever of probation.
Most felony convictions of Theft by Deception, you will be placed on the highest level of probation, call AP&P.
Sometimes you will be placed on supervised probation through a private vendor. This private supervised probation most often happens with Misdemeanor convictions.
Theft Awareness Classes.
Often as part of your probation, you will be required to take a “Thinking Errors” class, or some other type of cognitive thinking class. Proof must be filed with the court and sometimes you can get a credit for the class cost against your fine.
Special Note on Criminal Restitution in Theft Cases:
When a theft crime victim requests restitution, restitution will be ordered. If you are given a plea in abeyance, first time offender program with a very high restitution amount, this could be disaster waiting to happen. High restitution amounts that are not paid will violate your plea in abeyance terms and a conviction will enter against you. The whole purpose of a first-time offender probation (plea in abeyance) is to avoid a criminal conviction and set the case up for an early expungement.
Failure to pay restitution will violate your plea in abeyance and a conviction will enter against you.
Failure to pay restitution will forever bar you from getting an expungement. No matter how long you wait.
Bankruptcy. Criminal restitution is never dischargeable in federal Bankruptcy Court. It will follow you forever and can be converted into a civil judgement with all the collections powers associated with judgments. Sell your house, garnish wages, etc.
Expungement of Theft by Deception Convictions in Utah.
Theft by Deception convictions are expunged so long as you successfully complete all terms of probation—especially paying off your restitution.
Expungement Waiting Periods. The Utah Expungement Act has the following mandatory waiting periods to start your expungement:
Felony: 7 years from the time your probation ends. Not from when you are sentenced.
Misdemeanor A. 5 years from when the case closes.
Misdemeanor B. 4 years from when the case closes.
Misdemeanor C. 3 years from when the case closes.
Infraction. 3 years from when the case closes.
402 Sentence Reduction Motions on Felony Theft by Deception Cases.
Running a successfully 402 sentence reduction motion to reduce your felony theft charge to a Misdemeanor is greats news. Not being a felon has tremendous benefits.
Further running 402 sentence reduction motions will reduce the expungement waiting period.
CALL/TXT KEN PARKINGSON AT (801) 373-6345 FOR CONSULTATION REGARDING YORU CASE. LET HIS NEARLY 30 YEARS OF COURTROOM EXPERIENCE HELP YOU.