While most hear about high profile embezzlement cases in the news, a surprising amount of people don’t actually understand what this term means. In Florida, an embezzlement charge can work differently than in other states, so it is essential to find a trusted, experienced attorney if you have been accused of this offense. At Conan and Herman P.A., our team exclusively practices criminal defense, and some of our specialty areas include embezzlement, theft, burglary, and shoplifting. To learn more about embezzlement specifically or to schedule a custom consultation, simply reach out to Conan and Herman P.A. in Central Florida.
What Is Embezzlement In Florida?
Embezzlement is considered property theft in the State of Florida. It occurs when an individual has been entrusted to manage their employer or someone else’s money or property and takes it for their personal gain. While they do have access to those assets, they do not have legal ownership. For instance, while bank tellers have legal access to client funds, they have no right to pocket cash from those accounts.
Embezzlement cases are not necessarily limited to employees and their employers. Any person in a position of trust can be charged with this crime, such as a family member taking advantage of an elderly relative, or a bookkeeper who keeps client refunds for themselves.
As with any other crime, the severity of the charge is based on the amount or value of what has been stolen. For instance, for an individual who embezzled money or property valued between $100 and $300, this is considered a misdemeanor of the first degree. Penalties involve a fine of up to $1,000. It may also include up to one year in jail. Embezzled funds that were valued at less than $100 are a misdemeanor of the second degree.
Felony embezzlement charges involve higher dollar amounts and can range as follows:
- 1st Degree Felony: $100,000 or more
- 2nd Degree Felony: Between $20,000 and $100,000
- 3rd Degree Felony: Between $300 and $20,000
Prison sentences and fines can be common punishments for embezzlement, even if you have never been charged with a crime previously. If your employer suspects you of embezzlement, you should speak with a criminal defense lawyer today before making any statements.
What Happens Next
Only a committed lawyer can tell you how the case is likely to be handled in court by prosecutors and judges. A criminal defense attorney can also advise possible alternatives to punishment. Since every case is different, it’s best to get a consultation right away.
Accusations of embezzlement are quite serious and require immediate action by a Florida attorney. Since this type of theft is considered a white-collar crime, evidence such as documents, bank drafts, ledgers, and other important information must be collected for a full investigation. Conan and Herman P.A. are completely dedicated to your case and will make ourselves familiar with every aspect involved. Call us today to learn more about our services in Orange County, Lake County, Osceola County, and more today.