Being accused of committing embezzlement can be a life-changing experience. People who are convicted of this crime often find their employment and housing options severely limited even after they have served their sentences, paid their fines and made good on their debt to society. Embezzlement is taken very seriously under California law, and being charged with this crime is equally serious. That is why you need a tough defense attorney by your side in the courtroom if you have been charged with embezzlement, willing to fight for you and negotiate on your behalf. If you have been accused of this crime and want to discuss your legal options with an embezzlement lawyer, the defense attorneys at Okabe & Haushalter can help you learn more about your rights as a defendant.
Section 503 of the California Penal Code defines embezzlement as a party’s misappropriation or misuse of funds or valuable goods that have been entrusted to them. This could involve cash, money in the bank, jewelry in a safe deposit box, or any other funds or goods, and the entrusting of these funds or goods could be either in a business capacity or in a personal capacity.
Embezzlement is prosecuted as a type of theft in the state of California. Depending on the number of funds or value of goods allegedly embezzled, the crime may be prosecuted as either a misdemeanor petit theft (if the goods or funds are valued at 950 dollars or less) or as a felonious grand theft (if the goods or funds are valued at more than 950 dollars). Penalties for those convicted could involve jail or prison terms as well as payment of court-mandated fines.
Embezzlement can take many forms and could involve business or personal finances. Here are some examples of embezzlement.
If a woman has been given the power of attorney and adult guardianship over a relative, including control of their financial assets, and she “skims” money from that relative’s accounts into her personal bank accounts bit by bit over the years, eventually adding up to tens of thousands of dollars funneled into her personal checking account, she may be charged with embezzlement under California law. She could face felony charges because the amount of money involved makes her embezzlement a grand theft.
An employee who works a cash register decides to slip one 20-dollar bill per week into his own wallet for personal use. During his sixth week of doing this, his manager catches him and decides to press charges. This man could be charged with embezzlement, but because the amount of money involved is relatively small, he would likely only face misdemeanor charges of petit theft.
If you need an embezzlement lawyer in Santa Clara, reach out to Okabe & Haushalter for legal assistance. We have extensive experience in criminal defense, and we have a track record of getting our client’s favorable results in court. We use tough defense tactics to poke holes in the prosecution, and we fight hard to get your charges reduced or dismissed so you can get back to living your life sooner. Call today for a free consultation and see for yourself why we have a reputation for courtroom excellence.