West Palm Beach Embezzlement Attorney
Florida has recently consolidated a number of property crimes under the state’s legal definition of theft, including embezzlement. Embezzlement is defined as the intentional spending, use, or taking of another person’s property without their consent, and it can happen even after voluntarily entrustment by the victim. Embezzlement can be large or small, and the penalties for this crime increase as the value of property embezzled increases. The West Palm Beach embezzlement attorneys at the Skier Law Firm understand the intricacies of embezzlement charges under Florida law and are prepared to defend our clients accused of embezzlement.
Levels of Embezzlement
Embezzlement differs from other types of property theft because the person accused is entrusted to manage or monitor another person’s property and then steals it for personal gain. The difference between embezzlement and other crimes is that the person accused has access to the stolen property but not legal ownership over it. Embezzlement is seen as a hybrid of theft and a violation of a special position of trust.
Under Florida law, embezzlement can be charged as either petit theft or grand theft, depending on the value of the property taken. As such, an embezzlement charge can either be a misdemeanor or a felony. Florida law dictates the following punishments for embezzlement under the state’s theft laws:
Embezzlement of $100 – $300: First degree misdemeanor
- Up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine
Embezzlement of less than $100: Second degree misdemeanor
- Up to sixty days in jail and/or a $500 fine
Embezzlement of $100,000 or more or $50,000 or more from a shipping platform: First degree felony
- Up to thirty years in prison, thirty years of probation, and/or a $10,000 fine
Embezzlement of $20,000 – $100,000 or of medical or law enforcement equipment valued at $300 or more: Second degree felony
- Up to fifteen years in prison, fifteen years of probation, and/or a $10,000 fine
Embezzlement of $300 – $20,000: Third degree felony
- Up to five years in prison, five years of probation, and/or a $5,000 fine
In addition, repeat offenses of embezzlement increase the level of penalties for conviction. For example, a person convicted of petit theft two or more times is punished as a third degree felony.
Why You Need a Lawyer
If you are suspected or charged with embezzlement, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. A lawyer can protect you during interrogations with police and other law enforcement officials and keep you from making any statements against your best interest. They can represent you in court during arraignment, hearings and motions, and trial. A lawyer can perform an independent investigation of the accused crimes and prepare the best possible defense against the charges.
Our West Palm Beach Embezzlement Attorneys Can Help
The experienced criminal defense lawyers at the Skier Law Firm in West Palm Beach have defended numerous clients over the years from embezzlement and other theft charges. If you or a loved one has been accused of embezzlement, call or contact the office today to schedule a consultation of your case.