Even if someone is charged with embezzling a small sum of money, the consequences could be major. Having a charge on your permanent record makes it hard to get a job, a loan, or other opportunities. That’s even more true for a felony charge.
An embezzlement attorney in Thousand Oaks from Simmrin Law Group can help you avoid major life setbacks. Read more about embezzlement in California and what a charge could mean for you. If you have any questions, we have answers and are available to talk to you 24/7.
Embezzlement Charges in Thousand Oaks
Embezzlement doesn’t just have to be for corporate bigwigs. In fact, most instances of embezzlement happen in the realm of small businesses. California’s Penal Code (PC) § 503 describes it as “the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted.”
That can happen in any number of circumstances, sometimes when you don’t even realize it. Any embezzlement case just has to include three elements:
- Someone else entrusting money or property to you
- Fraudulently using or transferring that property to yourself
- By using or transferring that property, depriving the victim of it
Basically, this is the misuse of money or property that someone else gave you or that you have access to. This can look like:
- Taking money out of your job’s cash register
- Moving money from a business account into your personal account
- Taking money from your family member’s bank account to use for yourself
- Using one investors’ money to pay back another investor (commonly known as a Ponzi scheme)
There is a special type of embezzlement charge for people who work for the government: embezzlement by a public officer. This is filed under PC § 504 and applies to employees of a county, city, district, or other authority who misuse public funds. In some cases, there could be a chance that the prosecutor goes after this charge more harshly than normal embezzlement.
In some cases, Thousand Oaks embezzlement attorneys can do something called “prefile intervention,” which stops formal charges from being filed. This could keep you from even having a conviction on your record, let alone receiving the harsh penalties that come along with an embezzlement charge.
For a free legal consultation with a embezzlement lawyer serving Thousand Oaks, call (310) 896-2723
Is Embezzlement a Felony in California?
The answer to this question isn’t simple, at least for California embezzlement charges. That’s because prosecutors in the state usually charge embezzlement as one of two things: petty theft embezzlement or grand theft embezzlement. Whether your charge is a felony or not depends on what type of theft it falls under.
If the value of the property that has been embezzled is less than $950, the charge is petty theft embezzlement. This is almost always a misdemeanor.
However, if the value of the property is more than $950, the charge is grand theft embezzlement. This is a bit more complicated, as grand theft is what lawyers call a “wobbler.” It’s called this because the charge wobbles between misdemeanor and felony depending on the circumstances and the defendant’s criminal record.
That means it’s important to have a lawyer by your side who knows what to do to make sure the prosecutors don’t decide to throw the book at you and convict you of a felony. By making a deal with them, your criminal defense lawyer could be able to get your charges reduced so that you don’t have to live life as a felon.
Thousand Oaks Embezzlement Lawyer Near Me (310) 896-2723
California Penalties for Embezzlement
Because California prosecutors charge embezzlement in a few different ways, the penalties for embezzlement vary depending on the severity of your conviction. If you’re charged with petty theft embezzlement, you could face:
- Up to six months in county jail
However, if you’re charged with grand theft misdemeanor, the penalty could go one of two ways. A misdemeanor grand theft embezzlement charge could mean:
- Up to a year in county jail
However, felony grand theft embezzlement could get you:
- Up to three years in jail
- The consequences of having a felony on your record, including a lifetime restriction on owning guns
Even a white-collar crime charge can also mean major consequences for your personal life and career. After being convicted, you could lose your job or public office, and it could be significantly harder to get a new position.
However, an embezzlement lawyer in Thousand Oaks can help you avoid harsh penalties. A skilled attorney could be able to get your sentence reduced, helping you avoid jail time. There’s a chance that your charges could be dropped altogether.
How Much does a Lawyer Cost in Thousand Oaks?
A good lawyer tailors their services to their client’s needs. Because of that, legal fees can range widely depending on the circumstances of your case. Some factors that could affect how much your Thousand Oaks attorney costs include:
- How long your case takes to resolve
- How difficult your defense is
- Your lawyer’s skill level and experience
- Any additional legal expenses
While it’s understandable that you want to save money, be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. If a defense lawyer has low fees, it could mean that they are less experienced or cut corners.
The best way to find out how much your lawyer could cost is by getting a free initial consultation. Someone from our firm can meet with you to assess your case and tell you how they can help, as well as how much it’s likely to cost.
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Talk to an Embezzlement Attorney in Thousand Oaks
No matter how small the sum, an embezzlement charge can significantly affect your life. Jail time and large fines could be devastating. A Thousand Oaks embezzlement lawyer from Simmrin Law Group could be able to reduce your penalties or eliminate your charges.
Call us or contact us online for a FREE consultation with someone who can help.