Los Angeles Embezzlement Attorney
Embezzlement charges can be quite serious in California, although many accused of the crime are either falsely charged or the victims of a misunderstanding. Embezzlement can be outright theft, misappropriation of funds, or the falsifying of documents to illicitly obtain funds. Embezzlement charges can be state or federal charges depending on the extent of the crime. If you are accused of embezzlement in southern California, now or in the future, contact our Los Angeles law firm to get the legal assistance you need. For over a decade, the Miranda Rights Law Firm has represented criminal defendants charged with fraud, forgery, and embezzlement in Los Angeles county and the surrounding region.
While no guarantee can ever be made in any particular case, Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer Douglas Miranda knows how to represent and defend you against embezzlement charges. He has a reputation for tenacity along with the skills and experience that you need to maximize your chances of seeing a positive case resolution.
IF YOU ARE ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLEMENT
Embezzlement is considered a white collar crime. This form of theft is typically done secretively and non-violently, and sometimes it isn’t even detected for weeks or even months. Financial institutions and employers are the typical targets of embezzlers, but almost anyone conceivably can be a victim. Prosecutors may pursue embezzlement as a federal crime when money is stolen from a bank or from an institution or agency controlled or owned by the United States federal government.
Under California law, the crime of embezzlement is prosecuted as grand theft or as petty theft, depending on the value and the type of property or assets that are stolen. In Los Angeles, if you are charged with embezzlement by either state or federal authorities, get legal help immediately and contact one of the most well-regarded and experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorneys to discuss your case.
Embezzlers alter financial records and documents to hide assets or to acquire personally a portion of those assets. For example, an accountant could make it appear that a client’s books are balanced while skimming “off the top.” In order to convict you of embezzlement, a prosecutor must prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, which means that the government must establish:
- a fiduciary relationship between the defendant and the alleged victim;
- a defendant’s acquisition of property by manipulating that relationship; and
- that the embezzlement was intentional.
In California, embezzlement is treated as either grand theft or petty theft, depending on the value of the property that was stolen. If the property is either worth more than $950, a motor vehicle or a firearm, then it is considered grand theft, a wobbler offense in California. This means the prosecution can chose to charge you with either a felony or a misdemeanor. If it is a misdemeanor, you may face up to one year in county jail, however a if it is a felony grand theft charge, you may face up to three years in jail and $10,000 in fines.
However, if the victim of your embezzlement faces serious financial loss because of your actions, you may face additional penalties. The sentence enhancements may be as much as:
- An additional one year if the property was worth more than $65,000.
- An additional two years if the property was worth more than $200,000.
- An additional three years if the property was worth more than $1,300,000.
- An additional four years if the property was worth more than $3,200,000.
The crime is considered a petty theft if the property that was stolen is less than $950. This is always a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by up to six months in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and possible misdemeanor probation.
The judge may give you a harsher sentence if your victim was an elderly or disabled person, since this is considered an aggravating factor in your crime. A disabled person is anyone with a mental or physical impairment that impacts their ability to function on a daily basis. The judge may also consider a lesser sentence if you willingly return the property that you illegally obtained before you are ever charged with embezzlement, but this is never a guarantee.
Not every embezzlement charge leads to a conviction, especially with the help of an experienced Los Angeles embezzlement lawyer. If you are charged with embezzlement, you might have simply made an honest mistake, someone has possibly “framed” you, or the charge may be entirely fabricated. A person who handles large sums of money – like everyone else – can make mistakes, but that doesn’t make that person an embezzler. Nevertheless, if you’re convicted, the penalties can include a prison sentence. Act to protect yourself and your rights. If you face a state or federal embezzlement charge in the Los Angeles area or elsewhere in southern California, immediately arrange to discuss your case with an experienced Los Angeles embezzlement lawyer.
WE FIGHT TENACIOUSLY ON YOUR BEHALF
Embezzlement is a “white collar” crime that happens predominantly in corporations, financial institutions, and government agencies. Penalties for the crime depend on the amount embezzled and other circumstances, but jail or prison is likely if a large sum has been embezzled. However, when misinterpreted financial records or other circumstances lead to an embezzlement charge against someone who did not knowingly or intentionally commit a crime, Los Angeles embezzlement lawyer Douglas Miranda works to explain the misunderstanding and clear his client of the charge. He also negotiates and arranges civil compromises that allow some clients accused of embezzlement to settle with their employers and avoid criminal charges and penalties. In the worst case scenario – the evidence against you is overwhelming – Los Angeles embezzlement defense lawyer Douglas Miranda will work with prosecutors to negotiate a deal. If this is not possible, he may fight for reduced or alternative sentencing on your behalf.
YOU CAN ARRANGE AN APPOINTMENT NOW
If you’ve been charged with embezzlement, put an experienced Los Angeles embezzlement attorney to work for you. After examining your case, criminal defense lawyer Douglas Miranda will explain your legal options and work to develop the most effective possible defense.
At the Miranda Rights Law Firm, we take our responsibility to our clients seriously, and we put our experience to work for you. To schedule a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense lawyer, contact us today. Send an email, or call 213-293-1207. Se habla español.