Newport Beach Embezzlement Attorney | PC 503

June 9, 2018

Embezzlement is a serious crime in California, punishable by a lengthy jail sentence, fines, and the payment of restitution. Many hard working people who have never been charged with a crime before find themselves being prosecuted for embezzlement. Consequently, retaining an experienced Newport Beach embezzlement attorney can be one of the most important decisions you make. With your freedom and future at stake, employing legal representation of a reputable and aggressive lawyer to defend your rights is crucial.

Financial Crime

Overview of California Embezzlement

Embezzlement is charged under Penal Code 503 pc which involves the taking of money or property by a person entrusted with care.[1] The higher the value of property, then more severe penalties follow. Ordinarily, a common scenario for this charge occurs in an employee-employer context.  Embezzlement is punishable in the county jail for up to three (3) years if convicted. Additionally, if the property amount exceeds $100,000, then sentencing enhancements apply making the offense a mandatory state prison sentence. Furthermore, embezzlement is a theft crime, therefore carrying adverse consequences to someone’s immigration status and/or state or federal issued license.

Defending Embezzlement Charges

  • Intent: All theft crimes require a person to act with the specific intent to steal. Therefore, acts of misfortune, accident, or mistake will serve as a viable defense in negating the government’s specific intent claims. The law will not punish someone who acted without any designed purpose to break the law.
  • Claim of Right: If someone believe in good-faith that they were entitled to the money, even if their belief was mistaken or unreasonable, then the good-faith claim of right can be asserted as an affirmative defense. To succeed on this defense, it must be established that the defendant (1) openly took the money; and (2) believed in good faith that they had a right to the specific property.
  • Amount: As noted above, the amount of property must exceed $950 to sustain felony charges. If the amount is questionable, a defense actuary or forensic account may be able to find holes in the government’s case that would suggest the amount is below $950 making the crime only a misdemeanor.
  • False Accusations: More commonly is someone being falsely accused by another partner or employer. There could be an unlimited number of reasons why someone could claim a crime occurred. For instance, motivations could include: to avoid sexual harassment claims, employment suits, revenge, or to succeed on child custody in the event the alleged crime arose out of a community property shared business.

Contact Us to Schedule a Free Consultation

If you’ve been arrested or charged with embezzlement under PC 503, then contact the Law Offices of John D. Rogers to speak with an experienced Newport Beach criminal defense lawyer. Embezzlement investigations take months, if not years, to conduct. Early retention of an experienced attorney can help deflect Government’s case against you and avoid charges altogether. Contact us today to schedule a free confidential consultation concerning your rights and defenses.

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Office Information
Law Offices of John D. Rogers
4000 MacArthur Blvd. East Tower Suite 615
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Telephone: (949) 625-4487


Legal Footnotes:

[1] Cal. Pen. Code, § 503 (“Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted.”)

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