Need a lawyer for an embezzlement case? Embezzlement crimes are classified as white collar offenses, which, by default, make them business-related. The nicknames for this offense derive from the crime's original definition, which identifies acts in which something is unlawfully taken by a person who has been entrusted with it. Employees who have been entrusted with the personal property or belongings of another under legal decree are those persons who are at risk of being accused of embezzlement.
Looking closely at its definition, embezzlement is classified as more than just a white collar crime it falls under the umbrella of a theft offense as well. As such, charges of this nature can be very serious, as they represent criminal activity from two different aspects of the criminal justice system – white collar crimes and theft crimes. If you're facing criminal allegations for the embezzlement of another person's property, your charges will be prosecuted under Penal Code 503 which is a derivation of Penal Code 484 theft. An Orange County criminal attorney from our firm can further explain this to you in person.
In order to fully understand why you were formally charged for embezzlement, you need to first understand the different methods by which an act of this nature can be executed.
As noted earlier, crimes of embezzlement are classified under the umbrella of theft. As such, the penalties upon conviction will reflect the punishments that are indicated in Penal Code 487 grand theft or Penal Code 488 petty theft. If the amount that was embezzled values more than $950, the embezzlement crime will be convicted as a grand theft offense; if it values less than $950, it will be convicted as a petty theft offense.
The penalties that a defendant will face upon conviction depend upon a couple of circumstances, especially if they have been convicted for grand theft. Referred to as a "wobbler" by some legal professionals, grand theft penalties are determined by examining a couple of extenuating factors. Firstly, the specific circumstances involved in the case will be analyzed. Secondly, the criminal history of the defendant will be analyzed. Only then will a decision be made as to how the crime will be punished, i.e. as a misdemeanor or felony offense.
As with every type of criminal behavior, the degree of your penalties will depend on the severity of your charges. Misdemeanor petty theft embezzlements could result in up to six months in county jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Misdemeanor grand theft embezzlements could result in up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. Felony grand theft embezzlements could result in up to three years in California State Prison and up to $10,000. Looking at the wide spectrum of penalties that could be faced upon conviction, it is clear that only an experienced and aggressive defense attorney should be employed on your behalf.
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