Mistakes happen. Sometimes, you might skim a little money or use a company card for something you’re not supposed to. A mistake shouldn’t have to follow you for the rest of your life. With the help of Downey embezzlement lawyers, you can avoid harsh penalties that come along with your charge—even jail time.
Learn more about what an embezzlement conviction means in California. When you’re ready to talk to an attorney about your case, don’t hesitate to get in touch with someone from our firm. The Simmrin Law Group offers free consultations.
What Is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property that has been entrusted by someone else. It’s a type of theft, but with one important distinction: there has to be a relationship of trust between the defendant and the victim. If the property that has been appropriated (used for someone’s own purposes) was not entrusted, the crime is just theft.
In embezzlement cases, the property also has to have been fraudulently used. That means there has to have been some kind of corrupt or deceitful intent. If that’s not the case and the defendant truly believed that they had the right to use the property or didn’t mean to do so, they could be acquitted of the crime.
The different moving parts of an embezzlement charge mean that some people that never meant to commit a crime get caught up in an accusation. They also mean that there is plenty for a criminal defense lawyer to use in their negotiations with the prosecutor and the judge.
For a free legal consultation with a embezzlement lawyer serving Downey, call (310) 896-2723
Defenses Against Embezzlement Charges
When you hire an attorney to defend you against a crime, you’re hopefully recruiting someone with the experience and skill necessary to gather evidence and show why you don’t deserve the maximum penalty for embezzlement.
Our law firm has been serving people in and around Los Angeles for over 15 years, and we know what to do to get your penalties reduced, your charges dropped, or your record expunged. By putting together a strong defense and handling your case from beginning to end, we can make sure that your rights are represented.
Your Downey embezzlement attorney’s defense could include the fact that:
- You had no corrupt intent and thought that you were within your rights
- You did not intend to deprive the other party of their property
- Your use of the property was not fraudulent
- The prosecution’s evidence was obtained illegally
It’s best to take on an embezzlement charge with the help of a lawyer. The prosecutor will try to twist your words against you and paint you in a negative light. A defense attorney can protect you against that and use every aspect of their legal knowledge to keep you out of prison.
Downey Embezzlement Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
California’s Law Against Embezzlement
The specific California law that covers embezzlement is Penal Code (PC) § 503. That covers California’s definition of bribery, at least, but it doesn’t actually set out the penalties for the crime. Instead, California judges typically follow the guidelines of grand theft (PC § 487) and petty theft (PC § 488).
Embezzlement is charged as grand theft if the value of the property embezzled was more than $950. Grand theft embezzlement is what lawyers call a “wobbler,” which means it wobbles between a misdemeanor and a felony depending on the details of the case and the defendant’s criminal history.
On the other hand, embezzlement is charged as petty theft if the value of the property embezzled is less than $950. Petty theft embezzlement is always a misdemeanor, as long as there aren’t any extenuating circumstances.
Because there are a few different ways that your embezzlement charge could go, there is room for a skilled defense lawyer to talk it down. A good negotiator will be able to make a deal with the prosecutor and could secure you a reduced conviction that forgoes the potentially harsh penalties that could come along with a felony.
Penalties for Embezzlement in California
The penalties that you could receive for embezzlement in California depend on what level of theft it’s charged as, and whether the judge decides to convict you with a misdemeanor or a felony. The penalty for petty theft embezzlement is up to six months in the county jail, as well as fines and probation.
Because grand theft embezzlement is a wobbler, the penalty can shift. If it’s charged as a misdemeanor, you could receive up to one year in jail. If it’s a felony, though, that time increases to a maximum of three years. Both come with fines and potential formal probation.
Besides the jail time and fines, embezzlement could also stay on your record forever, making it hard to hold a job or get elected in your local government. A felony conviction can be especially damaging to your livelihood. However, with the help of an embezzlement attorney in Downey, you could be able to get your charges reduced or even dropped altogether.
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Talk to a Downey Embezzlement Attorney for Free
Even a white-collar charge can change your life forever. It doesn’t have to be like that, though. If you’ve been arrested, you can call a Downey embezzlement lawyer from Simmrin Law Group for a free initial consultation.
Someone from our firm can talk to you about your case and how much you may have to pay for your defense. Call us today or contact us online 24/7 to get your FREE consultation.