Embezzlement occurs when a person in a position of trust violates that trust and takes money and/or property (assets) through fraudulent activity. A good example of embezzlement is a financial advisor who steals funds from investors, or a cashier who doesn’t record the full value of a sale and pockets the difference. It can occur once, or it can occur systematically over a period of years.
Embezzlement is a white-collar crime (criminal activity that doesn’t involve violence), and depending upon the severity of the thievery and deception, you can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony.
To improve your chances for a successful outcome of your case, Sacramento embezzlement attorney David Knoll is a smart choice. As a criminal attorney who has worked in the court system for over twenty years, David Knoll knows how to fight unfair charges against you.
California Embezzlement Law
To be convicted of embezzlement in California, there are certain criteria that the prosecuting attorney has to prove. He or she has to show the following:
- That you were put in a position of trust by an individual or employer, and had, for example a doctor-patient, or an employer-employee type of relationship;
- That you were entrusted with the responsibility for someone’s property, such as a bank teller handling someone’s deposit;
- That you broke someone’s trust and acted fraudulently by taking their property for yourself.
Penalties for Embezzlement
Depending upon the value of the property embezzled, you will be charged with either grand theft or petty theft. If the loss was more than $950, the charge will be grand theft. If the loss was $950 or less, the charge will be petty theft.
For grand theft, it’s up to the prosecuting attorney to charge you with a felony or a misdemeanor, making the decision based on your criminal history and the circumstances of your case.
Grand theft misdemeanor convictions carry up to a year in a county jail, with a fine no greater than $1000. Grand theft felony convictions carry a sentence from 16 months up to three years in the state penitentiary, with a maximum fine of $10,000.
Petty theft convictions carry a county jail sentence of up to six months, with a maximum fine of $1000. If the embezzlement involves $50 or less, and you have a clean record, your charges may be reduced to an infraction, which carries a maximum fine of $250.
There are more severe penalties when the embezzlement amount is very high, and/or if the embezzled property came from someone who is mentally or physically disabled.
Good Legal Representation is Essential to Fight Embezzlement
California embezzlement lawyer David Knoll knows of many legal defenses to resolve your case. The legal defenses involved are:
- proving that you truly acted in “good faith”;
- proving that you had no intent to embezzle, such as taking your employer’s computer in for repair without telling him;
- proving that the accusations are false, that you did not take anything.
Criminal defense attorney David Knoll diligently investigates and scrutinizes all of the accusations and evidence against you, and works out a defense that will lower the charges against you, or completely absolve you.Help with Embezzlement Charges