If I received unemployment while partially employed because I didn’t realize that this was not OK, will I be arrested or can I make arrangements to pay back the amount I received?

Asked on October 17, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can repay, but remember any arrangements to repay over time i.e. anything other than repaying all at once must be acceptable to both parties, so you can't unilaterally decide how much you'll pay per week or month--instead, you and the unemployment office/labor dept. have to come to an agreement you both accept.
You should not be criminallly liable i.e. not be arrested or charged IF there is no evidence or reason to think that you did not know that you were not entitled to the money at the time you received it. Criminallly liability requires having criminal intent--basically, an intent to take money you know is not yours. If you honestly thought you were entitled to it, you still have to repay it, but accepting it was not a crime. So the issue is what did you know, when what evidence or reason to think, if any, is there to believe that you knew you were not entitled to the money when you received it and what do the authorities believe--do they think and think they can show that you did take the money with criminal intent?

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