Orlando Embezzlement Lawyer
Embezzlement is treated as theft in Florida, meaning that even though this offense may seem like “just a white collar crime,” the penalties are very harsh. If your employer has accused you of embezzling funds from the company, you need to act quickly to protect yourself. Not only is your professional reputation and career on the line, but you could be facing years or even decades behind bars, depending on how much you have been accused of stealing. This is why it is important that you call our expert Orlando embezzlement lawyers at the O’Mara Law Group to assist you with your case right away.
Is There a Difference Between Theft and Embezzlement?
In short, embezzlement and theft are the same thing: embezzlement is a form of theft. Theft is taking or attempting to take another’s property with the intent to deprive that party the right to their property, either temporarily or permanently, as per Florida statute 812.014. Embezzlement is simply employee theft, with the victim being the employer. Because there is no specific statute for embezzlement, it is penalized under the same statute as theft. Embezzlement typically involves:
- Stealing money;
- Abuse of funds; or
- Credit card fraud.
Misdemeanor and Felony Charges Depend on the Amount Embezzled
A defendant can be charged with embezzlement even when they only temporarily take assets from the company and then return or repay that property the next month, week, day, or even hours later. Furthermore, any attempt—including failed attempts—to deprive an employer of their property through embezzlement is considered theft, and it is punished as such. The following list categorizes the degree of misdemeanor or felony with the amount embezzled:
- $100 to $300: First degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in prison;
- $300 to $20,000: Third degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison;
- $20,000 to $100,000: Second degree felony, punishable by up to 15 years in prison; and
- $100,000 or more: First degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Fines and Restitution
In addition to jail and prison time, defendants of embezzlement are also subject to serious fines and restitution. Fines range from $1,000 for a misdemeanor charge, to $10,000 for a first degree felony charge. Restitution, which can include legal fees and other damages in addition to the property that was allegedly taken, can amount to much more than the strictest fines, causing crippling bankruptcy for the defendant and his or her family.
An Orlando Embezzlement Defense Attorney Can Help
Workplace crimes, including embezzlement, cost U.S. employers $50 billion per year, according to CNBC News. As such, both private companies and government agencies are eager to make examples of embezzlement defendants, and will work tirelessly to stick them with most heavy-handed punishment possible. You need an attorney who will fight even harder to defend you. The O’Mara Law Group has been defending individuals since 1982, and our lawyers have the experience, team mentality, and resources to aggressively defend you both in and out of the courtroom. We implore you to call us today at 407-413-882 to schedule a free consultation as soon as you can.