Southern California Embezzlement Defense Attorney
Are you facing embezzlement charges? Get help from an expert embezzlement defense attorney now
Commonly called employee theft or employee fraud, embezzlement is a white collar crime involving the unlawful taking of any property that has been entrusted to you with the intent of depriving the rightful owner of that property. This idea of a relationship involving trust is what separates embezzlement from plain old theft. For example, your employer might entrust you with the company checkbook so that you can pay vendors. If you violate that trust by writing checks for your own fraudulent purposes, it would be considered embezzlement. If you write a check to buy a new printer for the office, even though your boss did not specifically ask you to do so, it would probably not be considered embezzlement, because you did not intend to deprive the employer of the benefit of those funds. If you’ve been accused of embezzlement, an expert Southern California embezzlement defense lawyer can represent you and protect your rights.
Penalties for Embezzlement
Embezzlement of cash or property worth less than $950 is subject to the same penalties as petty theft: up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Embezzling larger sums will be prosecuted under the section of the penal code relevant to grand theft. Grand theft embezzlement may be treated as a misdemeanor or a felony, and can carry penalties ranging from one to three years in prison and fines of $1,000 to $10,000. Separate acts of embezzlement can be prosecuted as separate crimes and the penalties are stackable. Embezzling from a dependent person such as a senior citizen may be considered elder abuse and will be looked on with prejudice by a judge, while any attempts to return embezzled property or funds prior to being caught may be seen as a mitigating factor by the judge.
Possible Legal Defenses
Many legal defense options are available to an embezzlement defense attorney. The most common defense is that you had a good faith belief that you were actually acting in accordance with the property owner’s wishes. Your attorney may also try to prove that you did not specifically intend to deprive the property owner of anything. If you are charged with multiple acts of embezzlement, your criminal defense lawyer can argue that these acts constituted a single plan and should be represented by a single charge.
Choosing Your Southern California Embezzlement Defense Lawyer
Getting to the bottom of embezzlement charges often requires some serious investigation on the part of your Southern California criminal defense attorney. A dedicated attorney like Dan E Chambers will never give up on your case prematurely, but instead will happily spend all the time it takes to get to the bottom of your case and develop a solid legal defense strategy.