Is it a felony to borrow money from the safe of my place of employment if I was given permission to do so?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is it a felony to borrow money from the safe of my place of employment if I was given permission to do so?

I am an assistant manager at a restaurant. My store manager has given permission to not only myself, but

other managers, to borrow money from our store safe as long as we put it back the following pay day. Last

Saturday, I borrowed just over $200 from the safe. Now, I’m being charged with felony theft, as well as breaking and entering. I have text message from my store manager giving permission to borrow the money.

Asked on May 10, 2017 under Criminal Law, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

With permission from someone who apparently had authority (the store manager), it should not be a crime, as long as you *reasonably* believed the manager had the authority to do this (e.g. there was no notice or directive from someone more senior that this could not be done; you had reason to think the manager had authority over the money in the safe). If you reasonably and in good faith believed you had the authority and permission to do this, you would not have had the required "criminal intent" (or "mens rea") to make it a crime, since you thought you were doing something legal and permitted. They key is, your belief in your right to do this MUST have been reasonable--if there was any reason to believe to the contrary (e.g. to think the manager did not in fact have the authority to do this), then it would not be a defense.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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