In Florida, embezzlement is considered property theft and the penalties vary according to the value of the property involved in the offense. This type of theft offense is different than others due to an element of a violated position of trust. The factors involved in an embezzlement crime include:
- Property was taken
- The defendant was in a position of trust to manage or monitor the property that was taken
- The defendant did not have legal ownership of the property, just legal access to it
The taking of this property is considered stealing and being in a position of trust when doing so, makes it an embezzlement crime. An example of this type of offense would be if a bank teller takes money from a client. Tellers do have legal access to handle the money in a client's account, but they do not have ownership over the money so taking it is stealing.
The penalties that follow an embezzlement crime could be anything from 60 days in jail to up to 30 years in prison depending on the type of property and its value. If the property is valued at $100,000 or more, the offense could result in a first degree felony. The potential penalties for this degree of felony is up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. On top of the criminal penalties, you may also have to pay restitution to the victim of the offense. There are even times when the victim will sue you in civil court for damages. Embezzlement is a serious crime and if you have been arrested for this offense, you need aggressive theft defense on your side. Contact my firm right away to have a seasoned criminal defense attorney as your legal advocate. I offer a free consultation so you can get started now at no cost.