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Embezzlement

Embezzlement is a white-collar crime in California and is punishable by law. It is also commonly referred as ‘Employee theft’ because of most of its cases are related to employee fraud. If you are facing embezzlement charges, it is important to act now and get your defense narrative prepared. We can help you in preparing a compelling defense narrative and will voice your side of the story in the court.

If it is your first run-in with the law, you may be wondering about the difference in theft and embezzlement.

The major difference in embezzlement and other thefts is that in embezzlement, property or object is legally in possession of defendant while in theft the defendant tries to enter or access a property or object illegally. Embezzlement is a serious crime with long-term impact on your life due to prison sentences and permanent criminal record. Therefore, the stakes are too high to ignore.

What is Embezzlement?

According to the California Penal Code 503, “Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted.” It indicates that property of another person is in the legal possession of the person embezzling it. The common examples of embezzlement charges related to the abuse of authority that has been entrusted to people instead of their job responsibilities. The elements of the crime in embezzlement charges are i) the owner of the property or object trusted the defendant and entrusted him or her. ii) the property or purpose was legally in possession of the defendant. Iii) the defendant misused or abused the property for personal benefits and gains with an intention to deprive the owner of property’s gains. When all these elements are established, the defendant is convicted of embezzlement.

Some of the common examples of embezzlement are employees using company’s car that is given to him or her for driving to client’s meetings, using them for personal travel. Employees using false records to cover up fraud or theft, an employee using the company’s financial account for paying for personal items, or even employees using official phones for personal use can be charged as embezzlement.

Penalties for Embezzlement

In the state of California, there are tough laws and punishments for those who commit embezzlement. It is a wobbler crime which means it can be pursued as a misdemeanor or a felony based on the amount of theft or the value of the property involved and defendant’s previous criminal record. Typical punishments include prison time, monetary fines, and community service.

If it is the first offense involving money or property of the value less than $400, the sentence will be a small fine, up to three years of Informal probation, restitution, and community service.

A second offense is a much more serious matter. It can be charged as Felony Theft (also called petty theft with a prior) and is punishable by a year in county jail or even 16 months to 3 years in state prison.

If it a second offense, the sentence can be much harsher. The convict has to pay fines, restitution amount and may need to spend up to one year in county jail or up to three years in state prison.

If the value of property or object exceeds $400 in value, it is charge as Grand Theft criminal offense and will be charged as

  • At least 16 months in state prison.
  • Probation or parole
  • Restitution (paying back victims for their loss)
  • Court-ordered counseling
  • Fines

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Grand Theft

The Penal Code in California defines the severity of an offense and punishments by the value of the object or property stolen, and in the manner, it is stolen from the owner of the property.

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Robbery

California’s penal code 211 defines robbery as the act of felonious taking of property or something of value from the possession of another person by force or fear.

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Petty Theft

The penal code 484 in California’s law defines petty theft as stealing, taking, carrying, or embezzling property or money of another person that is capped at $950.

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Burglary

California’s Health & Safety Code has many sections that deal with the various offenses related to Marijuana.

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Fraud

In California, Fraud or Larceny is a criminal act resulting in criminal charges against the person committing the offense.

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Identity Theft

The number of cases of identity theft in California is increasing day by day, and it has become a prevalent crime in this age of Information Technology.

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  • Multiple defendants each facing 7 years charged with smuggling prescription drugs into California from Mexico our client was the only defendant who received NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 5 years for possession of deadly weapon we negotiated a plea for NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 3 life terms for multiple felony counts of Child Molestation and Sodomy with child we proved the charges were fabricated by victims mother DISMISSAL of all charges at preliminary hearing!

  • Strike case: Client charged with possession of methamphetamine facing 25 years we filed a Romero Motion which was granted case REDUCED TO MISDEMEANOR!

  • Client's estranged girlfriend alleged Client broke into her room and choked her facing 14 years in State Prison we won at trial JURY ACQUITTAL.

  • Police allegedly discovered 3 bags of marijuana in client's glove box faced 6 years we filed a 1538.5 motion to suppress resulting in DISMISSAL of all charges!

  • Client allegedly sold rock cocaine to undercover officer faced 10 years following our argument client received NO JAIL TIME!

  • Client facing 15 years for Armed Robbery we proved misidentification Judge DISMISSED the case!

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