/ 11.3.22

Everything You Need to Know About Embezzlement

Written by: Doug Ridley

Know Your Rights and Potential Punishments If You Are Accused of Embezzling Money

Embezzlement is a commonly charged theft crime in California. If you have been entrusted with money, then misuse those funds for your own benefit, you may be charged with embezzlement. The more money that is allegedly embezzled, the more severe the potential outcome. It is strongly recommended that individuals facing embezzlement charges retain legal counsel in order to mitigate consequences.

At Ridley Defense, we know how serious mere accusations of embezzlement can be. It can affect your career and your reputation. We work hard to reduce the damages that embezzlement or other theft charges can have on your life. If you have been arrested or accused of embezzlement, contact our office  for a complimentary consultation.

What Is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is a property crime and is defined by California Penal Code Section 503 as the “fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been intrusted [sic].” To be convicted of the crime, the prosecutor must prove certain elements.

California criminal jury instructions require that the prosecutor prove:

  • The owner of the property entrusted it to you;
  • The owner did so because they trusted you;
  • You fraudulently used the property for your own benefit; and
  • You had the intent to deprive the owner when you used it. 

It can be very difficult to prove your case without the help of a qualified theft crime attorney. A strong attorney can help build a strategic defense in your case. 

What Are the Punishments for Embezzlement?

Punishments for the crime of embezzlement depend on the value of the property that was stolen. As described in Section 514 of the California Penal Code, a person convicted of embezzlement may receive punishments like other theft crimes

If the property embezzled is greater than $950, it will be charged as grand theft. Grand theft is considered a wobbler and may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony.

If the property embezzled is worth less than $950, it is considered petty theft. Under limited circumstances, a person may be eligible for a reduction to an infraction. A reduction is much more likely if you retain an attorney. 

Are there Defenses to Embezzlement Charges?

There are several defenses that may arise if you have been charged with embezzlement. It is in your best interest to retain an attorney as early as possible to determine your legal options.

Common defenses in embezzlement cases:

  • Lack of evidence
  • Lack of intent
  • Legal use of the funds
  • Good faith belief in the right to the property

An attorney will help walk you through the legal process. They can help you understand your rights and the potential defenses that may apply to your case. Early intervention can prove critical in white-collar crime cases. Therefore, it is essential to contact an attorney as soon as you learn you are being investigated for embezzlement or have been charged with the crime.

Hiring an Embezzlement Attorney in California

If you or a loved one were charged with embezzlement in Southern California, contact our office for a complimentary consultation. Get the legal guidance you need and deserve. Call now to get started.

Share This Story

Interested in this topic? Your friends might be too! Consider sharing this story to your social media channels by clicking the icons below.

Receive Guided Support through this difficult time.

Whether you need advisement, negotiation, damage control, or aggressive courtroom representation, our caring, compassionate, and tactically brilliant attorneys will fight for you.

I Want To...
uploadmagnifiercrossmenu linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram