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Embezzlement Charge in SoCal - PC 503 Lawyer


Embezzlement Defense Attorney

California Defines Embezzlement as: 

"Penal Code 503 

Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been intrusted."

Basically, anytime you are entrusted with property of another person or entity and you take that property by fraud, you are committing the crime of embezzlement.

What are examples of embezzlement?

  • A treasurer at a church who takes part of the collection for their own benefit
  • A bank or store employee who intentionally miscounts the money to divert part of the funds for themself
  • A donation collection employee who takes part of the donations for themselves instead of reporting it and giving it to the organization which hired him or her

What does the district attorney have to prove that I'm guilty of embezzlement?

  • That you were entrusted with the property which you are accused of taking
  • That you intentionally misled the entity trusting you when you took the property
  • That you took the property with intent to deprive the owner of the property 

What are the defenses to the charge of embezzlement?

  • You did not take the property
  • You had no intention to deprive the owner of the property
  • You acted in good faith thinking you had a right to take the property 
  • You did not fraudulently take the property or money

Can I get in trouble with immigration for PC 503, Embezzlement?

Yes! Embezzlement is a crime of moral character which can negatively impact your immigration status.  If you are a non-citizen, you could be either deported (now called removed) or be made "indamissible" for those who are not yet in the US but are attempting to immigrate here. Further, if the embezzlement is a felony, you could qualify for a deportation/removal or inadmissibility under the "aggravated felonies" rule.  

What are the penalties for the charge of embezzlement?

The penalties for the charge of embezzlement will depend on the financial amount of the taking, whether there are priors and other facts such as already being on probation or parole.  

Misdemeanor Embezzlement when amount is less than $950: 

  • 0-180 days (up to 1 year if PC 504) in the county jail
  • Potential fines and fees
  • Restitution 
  • May prevent holding public office 

Felony Embezzlement when amount of taking is $950 or more:

  • 1 year 4 months, or 2 years or 3 years
  • Potential fines and fees
  • Restitution 
  • May prevent holding of public office 
  • May prevent jury service 
  • May affect firearm ownership

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