Embezzlement is a crime that involves the fraudulent misappropriation of property or money that an individual has been entrusted with for their own benefit. Embezzlement is a serious offense and can be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, depending on the value of the property or money taken.
Is Embezzlement a Felony or Misdemeanor?
Is embezzlement a felony? It depends on the amount to which you are accused.
In most cases, the greater the loss, the higher the penalty. For instance, embezzling $1,000 might be a misdemeanor offense, while embezzling $100,000 could result in felony charges. Felony embezzlement is a type of white-collar crime that involves the unlawful conversion of ownership rights of property or assets, and it carries severe penalties.
Typically, misdemeanor embezzlement addresses theft of $1,500 or less. If you embezzled more than that, you might face a felony charge in Texas. You may need the services of Houston federal criminal defense lawyer Seth Kretzer for your case.
Types of Embezzlement Charges and Laws in Texas
If you’re facing embezzlement charges in Texas, you probably have questions about what to expect from your case.
- Is embezzlement a felony?
- How many years do you get for embezzlement?
Considering that embezzlement charges are quite serious, it’s a good idea to get legal representation before trying to familiarize yourself with embezzlement laws in Texas.
According to Texas law, embezzling is when you commit theft for your own financial gain. For example, an employee who steals money from a cash register is embezzling, as is an employee who alters a company’s financial records to conceal their theft from the business.
Other forms of embezzlement include tax fraud, Medicare fraud, mortgage fraud, and elder abuse — in which an elderly person’s caretaker or relative steals money from them.
Regardless of whether you’re accused of a breach of fiduciary duty in Texas or need a Houston Medicare fraud defense lawyer, the embezzlement penalties you face are serious — contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
In Texas, you can expect a third-degree felony embezzlement charge if you’re accused of embezzling $20,000 to $100,000. You’ll likely get a second-degree felony embezzlement charge if you’re accused of embezzlement between $100,000 and $200,000, while the accusation of theft of over $200,000 can warrant a first-degree felony embezzlement charge.
As you can see, the more money you’re accused of stealing in Texas, the more likely you’ll get a felony embezzlement sentence.
If you’re accused of embezzling $1,500 or less in Texas, you’ll still have embezzlement charges against you. It will be a misdemeanor on your criminal record.
If you steal between $1,500 and $20,000, you could end up with jail time for embezzlement.
The embezzlement punishment you can expect depends on how much you’re accused of embezzling. Working on your case with a lawyer can help since they may be able to help you negotiate your embezzlement charges and penalties.
Contact Houston white-collar crimes lawyer Seth Kretzer for help with your case if you want a chance to fight the charges.
How Many Years Do You Get for Embezzlement?
Embezzlement penalties usually include jail, depending on your exact charge. The average jail time for embezzlement depends on how much money was involved in the theft.
If you’re charged with misdemeanor embezzlement, you could spend up to a year in jail.
- Third-degree embezzlement: two to ten years in prison
- Second-degree embezzlement: two to 20 years in prison
- First-degree embezzlement: five to 99 years in prison
Do Embezzlement Penalties Include Fines?
In addition to jail time, your embezzlement punishment might involve fines. They vary depending on the severity of your charges, but they can reach up to $10,000.
Reasons to Hire an Embezzlement Defense Lawyer
Embezzlement charges can be complex, but a skilled attorney can investigate the case thoroughly, gather evidence, and negotiate with prosecutors to reduce the charges or penalties. Additionally, an attorney can help prove an honest mistake, a fine line between ignorance and intent. Therefore, it is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer who has experience in handling embezzlement cases and who can provide guidance and support throughout the legal process.
Seek Professional Legal Counsel from the Law Offices of Seth Kretzer
In conclusion, embezzlement is a serious criminal offense that can carry life-changing penalties upon conviction, depending on the value of the stolen money or property. Embezzlement can result in a felony or a misdemeanor charge, depending on the amount of money or property involved.
It is crucial to hire an experienced embezzlement defense lawyer when facing such charges, as they can provide guidance, support, and a strong defense strategy to protect an individual’s rights and mitigate the consequences.
If embezzlement charges have been brought against you, please contact The Law Offices of Seth Kretzer today to start working on your case. Our experienced legal team is prepared to fight for you.