Criminal Defense Attorneys Defending People Facing Accusations of Embezzlement
Embezzlement is covered under California Penal Code Section 503. Its basic definition is fraudulently appropriately property that belonged to another person and was entrusted to you.
This type of theft case is also known as employee theft. Basically, an embezzlement criminal case involves taking money from your employer.
This could occur in many forms, such as:
- abusing an expense account,
- running up excessive business expenses, or
- routing employer funds into your account.
While most theft crimes involve taking another individual's property without permission, embezzlement is unique because a defendant legally possessed the property, but took it without permission.
See related: Grand Theft Firearm.
The vast majority of embezzlement cases in Los Angeles County occur in an employment position.
Typically, certain employees will have permission and access to items of value to the employer, such as bank accounts or credit card numbers.
An embezzlement criminal offense occurs when the employee removes these items of value without permission.
If you have been accused of embezzlement, you need to contact a Los Angeles embezzlement attorney at our law firm as soon as possible.
Our experienced theft defense lawyers will thoroughly review all the details of your case and start building an effective defense strategy.
A conviction for embezzlement could have life-changing consequences. Your future employment opportunities would be limited after potential employer's access your background check.
If arrested, there is a good chance you will have to appear for an arraignment, which is the first court appearance.
Embezzlement – Penal Code Section 503
In order for the Los Angeles County prosecutor to obtain a conviction for embezzlement, they have to prove in court the following elements of the theft crime:
- The defendant had some type of relationship with the victim, most commonly an employee and employer relationship
- Within this relationship, the defendant was entrusted with money or property that belonged to the victim
- The defendant took possession of the money or property with the specific intent to deprive the victim of their property
The Los Angeles prosecutors can file embezzlement theft case as either a misdemeanor or felony crime.
Typically, the total value and type property that is stolen are the determining factors. If the total value exceeds $400, the criminal charge will be filed under Penal Code Section 487, grand theft.
If the total value is less that $400, the prosecutor can file charges under Penal Code Section 484, petty theft.
See related information: Misappropriation of Public Funds.
Consult with a Los Angeles embezzlement defense lawyer at our law firm for more information about your theft case.
Legal Penalties for an Embezzlement Conviction
An embezzlement conviction in Los Angeles County is punished under California's grand theft or petty theft laws, depending on the value of the stolen property.
If you are convicted, you could face the following legal penalties:
- Misdemeanor embezzlement conviction can result in a sentence of up to one year in Los Angeles county jail and a fine up $1,000.
- Felony embezzlement conviction can result in a sentence of up to three years in a California state prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Legal Defenses against Embezzlement Charges
Not all theft crime cases are the same. Embezzlement criminal charges are often unique and complex.
These types of cases typically involve very detailed trails of evidence and circumstances. A Los Angeles embezzlement attorney at our law office needs to sort through all the specific details to formulate a defense strategy.
Some common legal defenses against charges of embezzlement can include that the defendant was falsely accused or they lacked criminal intent.
An embezzlement conviction requires that the prosecutor prove in court that a defendant intended to deprive the victim of their property. In many embezzlement cases, intent can be most difficult to prove.
It may be possible for a Los Angeles embezzlement lawyer to show that what may have initially looked like embezzlement was just a mistake by the defendant.
Contact a Los Angeles Embezzlement Attorney
If you are under criminal investigation or already charged with embezzlement, it's critical to consult with a Los Angeles embezzlement lawyer at our law firm immediately.
At Eisner Gorin LLP, our attorneys have over five decades of combined experience in criminal defense law.
Each or our law firm partners have worked for the Los Angeles District Attorney's office, giving us a unique insight on the criminal justice system operates.
Due to the potentially harsh legal consequences, you will need a defense attorney on your side that is prepared to aggressively fight your charges and protect your freedom.
Contact our attorneys to review your case and discuss legal options. Call 877-781-1570.