Is Embezzlement a Felony or Misdemeanor in California? PC 503
Embezzlement, as defined in California Penal Code 503, is the fraudulent misappropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted. The classification of embezzlement as a felony or misdemeanor in California depends on the value of the property that was taken.
If the value of the property embezzled is over $950, the crime is classified as a “wobbler.” This mean the prosecutor holds discretion to file either felony or misdemeanor charges. A felony conviction for embezzlement can result in a jail sentence of up to three years, as well as fines and restitution. Additionally, a felony conviction can have long-lasting consequences, such as difficulty finding employment, housing, prohibits someone from own or possessing a firearm, and adverse effects to someone holding a professional license.
If the value of the property embezzled is $950 or less, the crime is classified as a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor conviction for embezzlement can result in a jail sentence of up to one year, as well as fines and restitution. While a misdemeanor conviction is less severe than a felony conviction, it can still have negative impacts on an individual’s life, such as difficulty finding employment or housing.
It’s important to note that embezzlement charges can also be filed as grand theft under California Penal Code section 487. Grand theft charges can be filed when the value of the property embezzled exceeds $950. And it’s also considered a felony.
It’s important to remember that embezzlement is a serious crime, regardless of whether it is classified as a felony or misdemeanor. If you are facing embezzlement charges, it is crucial that you seek legal representation as soon as possible in order to protect your rights and build a strong defense. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you understand your legal options and work to get the best possible outcome in your case. Give the Law Offices of John D. Rogers a call to schedule a free case evaluation.