West Palm Beach Embezzlement Lawyer
Theft is legally defined as the unauthorized taking of another’s property with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of its use, either temporarily or permanently. Theft can take many forms including embezzlement. Any person may be charged with embezzlement if they are accused of committing theft against an employer or someone else who has placed their trust in them.
Embezzlement can be a very serious charge depending on the value of the property taken. So if you have been charged with stealing from someone else in this manner, it is crucial that you work with a qualified West Palm Beach embezzlement lawyer who can advise you of your legal rights and options. The Law Office of Scott N. Richardson represents clients who are charged with embezzlement and other theft-related crimes.
The Penalties for the Embezzlement Increase Based on the Amount Stolen
“Embezzlement” is not a standalone crime in Florida. Rather, it is treated as a form of theft. As noted above, theft involves knowingly obtaining, using, or attempting to obtain or use someone else’s property with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of its use. Criminal theft does not require proof that the defendant initially took the property in question without consent. This is often important in embezzlement cases, as they usually involve someone who is entrusted with handling money or other property on behalf of the owner.
For example, if the owner of a business entrusts an employee to manage the company’s bank accounts, and the employee then takes money out of those accounts for their personal use without the owner’s consent, this is still considered embezzlement even though the owner initially gave the employee access to the funds.
Florida classifies theft crimes based on the value of the property taken. In cases where the amount allegedly embezzled was between $100 and $300, that is considered petit theft, a first-degree misdemeanor that carries a maximum jail term of 60 days. Any embezzlement over $300 is considered grand theft, which is a felony. A person may also be charged with felony theft if they have a prior petit theft conviction.
Contact the Law Office of Scott N. Richardson Today
Depending on the specific facts of a case, a defendant may have a number of potential defenses to a theft-by-embezzlement charge. The defendant may have had a good faith belief they had a right to possess or own the property in question. They might also be able to show that the owner granted consent to the defendant’s specific use of the property.
This is why it is always a good idea to sit down and talk with an experienced West Palm Beach embezzlement lawyer who can review your case and advise you accordingly. While no defense attorney can guarantee a dismissal or acquittal, you will improve your chances of a favorable outcome if you work with qualified counsel. So if you need to speak with an attorney today, contact the Law Office of Scott N. Richardson, P.A.