Los Angeles Embezzlement Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with or is being investigated for embezzlement in Los Angeles or elsewhere in the State of California, you should immediately contact an Experienced Los Angeles Embezzlement Attorney at The H Law Group to represent you and keep you from going to jail for a very long period of time. You should not take embezzlement charges lightly as a conviction of this crime can result in a maximum jail sentence of up to three years.

So, if you have been charged with embezzlement, you should contact an experienced embezzlement defense attorney at The H Law Group to represent you and mitigate the potential consequences that you face. At The H Law Group, we have handled thousands of cases, so we have the knowledge and experience to obtain the best possible outcome for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

What Constitutes Embezzlement in Los Angeles, California?

Embezzlement is a crime that occurs when a person illegally takes money or property that was entrusted to him by another person. California Penal Code Section 503 PC is the statute that makes embezzlement a crime.

Embezzlement under Penal Code 503 PC is a wobbler, meaning the prosecution has the discretion to charge embezzlement as either misdemeanor embezzlement or felony embezzlement. The prosecutor’s decision is based primarily on the value of the money or property embezzled by the defendant.

Embezzlement is charged as grand theft when the value of the money or property embezzled exceeds $950. Grand theft embezzlement can be charged as either misdemeanor grand theft embezzlement or felony grand theft embezzlement.

That said, if the value of money or property embezzled is $950 or less, the prosecution typically brings petty theft embezzlement, which for first-time offenders is always a misdemeanor charge.

Note: Embezzlement is considered to be a white-collar crime/theft crime. The crime of embezzlement boils down to the defendant taking something that was entrusted to him by another person without the property owner’s permission to do so.

Penalties for Embezzlement

If the prosecution convicts an individual of embezzlement, the consequences depend on whether the defendant was convicted of a misdemeanor or felony grand theft embezzlement, or misdemeanor petty theft embezzlement. Here are the consequences depending on how you’ve been charged:

Felony Grand Theft Embezzlement Penalties

  • Conviction of a felony offense
  • Imprisonment for up to three years in county jail
  • Placement on formal felony probation

Misdemeanor Grand Theft Embezzlement Penalties

  • Conviction of a misdemeanor offense
  • Imprisonment for up to twelve months in county jail
  • Placement on informal summary probation

Misdemeanor Petty Theft Embezzlement

  • Conviction of a misdemeanor offense
  • Imprisonment for up to six months in county jail
  • Placement on informal summary probation

Proving a Person Guilty of Committing Embezzlement in Violation of 503 PC

For the prosecution to convict a person of committing embezzlement in violation of 503 PC, it must prove a number of elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to prove even one element, it will not be able to convict the defendant of embezzlement. The prosecution must prove the following elements:

  • The owner of money or property entrusted it to the defendant
  • The owner did so because he trusted the defendant
  • The defendant fraudulently converted the money or property for his own benefit or use, and
  • The defendant intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property of it

Note #1: For the prosecution to convict the defendant of embezzlement, it must prove that there was a relationship of trust between the owner of the property and the defendant. Such a relationship can be found in the following situations: (1) a person entrusts his money with to his money manager, (2) there is an employer and employee relationship between the defendant and the victim, (3) the property owner gave the defendant temporary possession of his property, such as giving one’s automobile to a valet.

Note #2: Having a conviction for embezzlement is very bad when it comes to retaining and finding employment. Most employers perform criminal background checks and if they see that you have been convicted of embezzlement, it’s going to be difficult for them to hire you knowing your past involves stealing money or property from people that trusted you.

So, to mitigate the potential consequences that you face, you should hire an experienced Los Angeles Embezzlement Defense Attorney to defend you, so that the charges against you may be dismissed or reduced into a criminal charge that carries less stigma than embezzlement.

Embezzlement Defenses

If you have been charged with embezzlement in violation of Penal Code Section 503 PC, there are a number of defenses that your attorney can make to defend you. Please note that the following list of defenses is not exhaustive of all of the defenses that your attorney can make, but rather serves as a list of some of the defenses that your attorney may make to defend you.

  • The defendant did not have the intent to permanently deprive the alleged victim of his money or property
  • The defendant did not make fraudulent use of the victim’s money or property
  • The defendant had an honest and reasonable belief that he had a right to the money or property at issue
  • The defendant is being falsely accused of committing embezzlement

Examples of Embezzlement in Violation of PC 503

  • An employer gives his employee $100 to buy some supplies for his restaurant. The employee spends $50 of the money and pockets the remaining $50. The employee can be charged with and convicted of embezzlement because he took money that was entrusted to him by his employer for himself. This situation is not uncommon with most embezzlement cases in California involving an employer and his or her employee. Typically, an employer entrusts his employee with money or property and the employee ends up being caught stealing from his employer.
  • Stealing cash from your employer’s cash register drawer
  • Taking cash from wallets or purses that you were entrusted to temporarily hold
  • Transferring money unlawfully from your employer’s bank account to your personal account

Contact an Experienced Embezzlement Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one has been charged with or is being investigated for embezzlement, you should immediately contact Los Angeles Embezzlement Attorney to defend you to mitigate the potential consequences that you face. Having a great defense attorney at your side could mean the difference between you being sent to jail and you being free from jail.

At the outset of every case, one of our attorneys will examine the facts of your case to determine whether a dismissal is possible. If your attorney believes that a dismissal is possible, he will communicate this to the prosecution. If the prosecution refuses to dismiss your case, your attorney will do all that he can to negotiate the best possible plea deal for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.

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Charged with a Crime?


Act now to protect your legal rights.