As your work is about to close for the night, your boss asks you to take money from the cash register to deposit at the bank. With a stack of money in your possession, you decide you can’t pass on the opportunity to take some money for yourself. If this happens, you could be accused of embezzlement under California Penal Code Section 503.
Embezzlement is a serious crime in California, and it carries harsh penalties. The punishment you face for embezzlement will depend on if you are charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. How you will be charged depends upon the circumstances of your case.
Is Embezzlement a Felony? (PC 503)
Embezzlement is considered a form of theft under California law. It differs from the crime of theft because embezzlement requires that you have been entrusted the property or given access to it by its rightful owner.
Like theft, embezzlement is a “wobbler” offense in California, which means it can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. The factor that determines how you will be charged is the amount of money you are alleged to have embezzled. If the amount or value of the property is less than $950, you will likely face misdemeanor charges. If you embezzled money or property valued at $950 or more, you will likely be charged with felony embezzlement.
Punishment for Felony Embezzlement
Misdemeanor embezzlement carries the same punishment as petty theft. If you are convicted of misdemeanor embezzlement, you face up to 364 days in county jail and fines of up to $1,000. However, if you are accused of taking property or money valued less than $50, an experienced embezzlement attorney may be able to help you get the charge reduced to an infraction. An infraction carries a $250 fine.
A felony embezzlement conviction is much more severe. If you are convicted of felony embezzlement for taking more than $950 in property, you could be sentenced to 16 months, 2 or 3 years in county jail and face fines of up to $10,000.
Contact Our Skilled Embezzlement Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich Today
Embezzlement is a very serious crime that could result in jail time and expensive fines. Additionally, you may find it hard to gain meaningful employment if you have a conviction for embezzlement on your record. That is why you should contact an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney immediately if you or someone you know has been accused of embezzlement. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled and knowledgeable attorneys have more than 40 years of experience successfully defending our clients accused of embezzlement. Let us help you now.
With offices in Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Victorville, West Covina, Torrance, Los Angeles and San Diego, you can find a dedicated Wallin & Klarich embezzlement attorney available to help near you no matter where you work or live.
Call our offices now at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation about your case. We will get through this together.