Embezzlement Laws – Frequently Asked Questions
Wallin & Klarich Lawyers Answer your Questions
Our Wallin & Klarich team of embezzlement lawyers want to share some common questions we have received regarding California’s approach to embezzlement laws.
How is Embezzlement Different than most Theft Related Offenses?
The major difference between embezzlement and other forms of theft is the requirement that the property was entrusted to you by the rightful owner.
Most theft related offenses require that you obtained possession of the property illegally or without the consent of the owner. However in order to be convicted of embezzlement, you must have legally possessed the property or were given authority to access it. It is this relationship of trust between you and the owner that distinguishes embezzlement from other theft related offenses.
Can I still be charged with embezzlement even if I returned the property to the owner?
Yes. Under California’s embezzlement laws, the crime of embezzlement is complete the moment you took or used the entrusted property for your own personal benefit. Even if you deprive the owner of its use for only a short time, you may still be convicted of embezzlement.
Can my embezzlement charges be reduced?
Yes. If the prosecution cannot prove that the value of the property embezzled exceeded $950, a charge of grand theft embezzlement can be reduced to petty theft under California’s embezzlement laws. If the property embezzled was $50 or less and you have no other theft related offenses on your record, the charge can be reduced even further to an infraction and you will only be subject to a maximum fine of $250.
How is the value of the embezzled property determined?
The embezzled property’s value is determined by its present market value at the time of the offense (when it was embezzled) rather than its original purchase price. Property such as paintings and antiques typically appreciate in value while cars depreciate the moment they are driven off the lot. On many occasions, the victim will overestimate the value of the property or the police will assign a random number reflecting its worth. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced embezzlement attorney to determine the property’s true value.
Where can I find an Embezzlement Attorney in California?
Drawing from extensive years of experience, the lawyers at Wallin & Klarich are available to answer any questions you have and are willing to go the extra mile in your defense.
With offices in Orange County, Los Angeles, Torrance, Sherman Oaks, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, Wallin & Klarich has over 30 years of experience in successfully representing Southern California residents who have been charged with embezzlement.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL (466-5245) or fill out our intake form. We will get through this together.