An embezzlement is a criminal act in California. It is illegal for any individual to engage in embezzlement. However, in some cases, the state uses specific charges to prosecute acts of embezzlement. For example, California uses Penal Code 504 to handle embezzlement by a public officer.
Embezzlement by a public officer involves the misuse of public funds or property. This makes it more serious than other forms of embezzlement. Work with the Simmrin Law Group to learn more about PC 504 and how to fight back. Get additional information today by calling (310) 997-4688.
Understanding Embezzlement in California
Embezzlement is a type of theft in California. In most cases, embezzlement is considered a white-collar crime. Individuals commit embezzlement if they:
- Take property entrusted to them by someone else AND
- Use said property fraudulently
- To benefit from the use of the property AND
- To deprive the property’s rightful owner of its value
For example, let’s say that a bank teller accepts funds for a customer. The customer wants the funds placed in their savings account. Instead, the banker puts the funds into a different account that only they can access. They then use these funds to pay their own bills. This is a form of embezzlement.
The court uses Penal Code 503 to prosecute basic acts of embezzlement. These charges are similar to petty or grand theft charges. In these cases, individuals can end up facing either a misdemeanor or felony charges.
Handling an Embezzlement by a Public Officer Charge in Los Angeles
PC 504 deals specifically with the crime of embezzlement by public officers. Public officers are individuals who work for a:
They can also work for different bureaus, boards, agencies, or public departments. Anyone who works for the public can face these charges. This includes everyone from an individual working as the mayor of a town to the secretary for a county.
These individuals face PC 504 charges if they make inappropriate use of public funds or property. To face charges under PC 504, they must use these funds in a way that exceeds their official authority. Take steps to learn more about how to fight back against this charge by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Our white-collar crime lawyers in Los Angeles are ready to answer your questions. Call us today at (310) 997-4688 for more information.
Convictions for an Embezzlement by a Public Officer Charge
Embezzlement is prosecuted as either a misdemeanor or a felony in California. This means that the charge is considered a “wobbler.” Generally, individuals face misdemeanor charges if they are accused of embezzling under $950. Misdemeanor convictions lead to jail time of up to six months.
Public officers accused of embezzling larger amounts can face felony charges. However, this is not always the case. Note that embezzlement involving firearms or cars is often treated more seriously. Felony convictions can result in years of time in prison.
In some cases, the court system sentences individuals to probation after a PC 504 conviction. Probation allows individuals to stay out of jail or prison. However, individuals on probation must follow a number of regulations set by the court.
Individuals who disobey court orders can face charges for a probation violation. This can lead to jail time, fines, and other legal penalties.
Build Your Defense After a PC 504 Accusation
Focus on handling a PC 504 accusation in Los Angeles by contacting the Simmrin Law Group. Our criminal defense lawyers are prepared to assist you. We are ready to get to work on a defense that is tailored to meet your legal needs. Our team can work to show that:
You Were Not Working as a Public Officer
Only specific people are considered public officers in California. If you were not working as a public officer, you may be able to avoid a PC 504 conviction. However, you could still face charges for other forms of embezzlement.
You Did Not Commit Fraud
Financial matters, especially those related to public funds, are often very complicated. It’s possible that you acted in accordance with the law. A lawyer can go over your situation while working to show that you didn’t misuse public funds or property.
Ask a Lawyer About Penal Code 504: Embezzlement by a Public Official
The Simmrin Law Group is here to help if you are charged under Penal Code 504. Contact us for help if you are accused of embezzlement by a public official. Let our white-collar crime lawyers in Los Angeles stand up for you. Find out how we can help by contacting us for a free consultation.
Call us at (310) 997-4688. We also have an online contact form available for you to fill out.