In California, embezzlement charges can result in serious penalties and consequences including steep fines and stiff sentences. Those facing embezzlement charges
in California should be aware of how they can defend themselves against those charges.
Embezzlement charges generally refer to the misappropriation of property, commonly money, that the accused individual is lawfully in possession of. Embezzlement charges are serious criminal charges.
What are the possible penalties in California for embezzlement?
- If the value of the property allegedly embezzled was less than $950, the accused individual faces a possible $1,000 fine and up to 6 months imprisonment.
- If the value of the property allegedly embezzled was greater than $950, the charge is considered a felony and the accused individual can face between 6 months in jail and 3 years and prison and other potential penalties and consequences.
What are the defense options against embezzlement charges?
- Good faith – the accused individual may be able to defend themselves on the basis of a good faith belief that the property in question belonged to them.
- Claim of authority – the accused individual may be able to defend themselves based on a claim of authority that the property allegedly misappropriated or converted was done so within the scope of their duties such as through a trust, agency relationship or power of attorney.
- Lack of demand – the accused individual may be able to raise as a defense that the owner of the property did not make a demand for the return of property.
In addition, depending on the circumstances, additional defense options may be available to the accused individual which is why it is essential for them to know how to develop a strong criminal defense strategy for the accusations and charges they are facing.
Workers and employers may commonly be accused of embezzlement which is why it is important for them to review their embezzlement defense options if they are facing allegations and accusations of embezzlement. Accused individual should always understand their criminal defense rights and how to enforce them when so much is on the line.