Alameda Embezzlement Lawyer
Embezzlement is a form of theft that often occurs in a professional or employment setting, thus leading to its classification as a “white-collar” crime. Although this offense typically involves no violence or physical harm to others, an embezzlement conviction may still have severe repercussions, including jail time. Seeking the advice of an Alameda embezzlement lawyer when you are facing these charges may be the most effective way to preserve your future.
To avoid the serious personal and professional consequences of an embezzlement charge, you may wish to contact a dedicated criminal defense lawyer to represent your interests.
Defining Embezzlement in Alameda
California Penal Code § 503 states that embezzlement occurs when individuals fraudulently take property that others have entrusted to them and use it for their gain. Embezzlement is a form of theft, but it differs from a typical theft charge in that the individuals accused of the crime have legal possession of the property. While they do not have the right to appropriate or take the property out of the control of its owner, they do have the right to possess the property, at least temporarily.
Even if individuals later give the property or money back to the rightful owner, they still can face embezzlement charges. Embezzlement exists when individuals deprive the owner of the benefit, value, or use of the property involved.
The classic case of embezzlement occurs when employers allow their employees to take possession of property that belongs to the business, and the employees wrongfully use the property for their benefit. Embezzlement often occurs in the investment company context, such as when investment professionals take money that others have given to them to invest and use it for their means. Getting the advice of an embezzlement lawyer in Alameda could be crucial to building a valid defense.
Penalties for Alameda Embezzlement Offenses
The penalties for embezzlement depend upon whether the offense constitutes grand theft or petty theft, as well as whether the crime is a misdemeanor or felony. Under Cal. Pen. Code § 487, if the money taken during the embezzlement is more than $950, the offense constitutes grand theft. Grand theft can be either a misdemeanor or a felony offense, depending on prior criminal history and the circumstances surrounding the crime.
A grand theft embezzlement conviction as a misdemeanor may result in a jail sentence of up to one year and a maximum fine of $1,000. If the offense is a felony, the potential sentence of incarceration ranges from 16 months to three years, with a maximum fine of $10,000. Since a felony conviction is likely to cause collateral consequences that go beyond incarceration and fines, consulting an embezzlement attorney in Alameda in this situation may be beneficial.
In an embezzlement case, sentencing judges also may place convicted individuals on probation. While on probation, individuals likely must report to a probation officer, complete community service, and work to pay restitution, which is repayment of the money embezzled from any victims of the offense.
Call an Alameda Embezzlement Attorney for Advice
Whether you are under investigation for embezzlement or facing formal charges, an Alameda embezzlement lawyer may be able to help. In addition to the standard penalties for embezzlement, offenses that involve unusually large amounts of money can result in enhanced sentences. As a result, the stakes in an embezzlement case may be high.
Rather than risk losing your freedom, consulting legal counsel at the outset of your case may be highly beneficial. Legal guidance throughout your criminal proceedings may enable you to reach a better resolution to the charges against you.