A person commits the crime of embezzlement when they take advantage of their position and steal from someone who had entrusted them with money. Like in the crime of theft, the penalties for embezzlement vary depending on how much money a person takes. These penalties can be harsh and include imprisonment. However, a person with embezzlement charges can avoid the consequences of a conviction by proving their innocence in court.
From a misdemeanor to a felony
The crime of embezzlement occurs when someone has access to money because of their position, and then that person takes some money without the owner’s permission. In our state, the crime of embezzlement can be a misdemeanor or a felony. It all depends on the amount of money that a person steals. The different penalties for embezzlement are:
- If a person steals less than $300: a sentence of up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
- If a person steals between $300 and $20,000: a sentence of up to 5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
- If a person steals between $20,000 and $100,000: a sentence of up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
- If a person steals $100,000 or more: a sentence of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $10,000.
An embezzlement charge can end up in a significant sentence of imprisonment, but this is not always the case. The court can drop a person’s charges if the accused thought they had consent to take the money or if they believed they had already given it back.
The right of defense
A person is innocent until proven guilty, and a criminal charge does not have to end in a conviction. A person with embezzlement charges can defend their case in court in different ways. By giving the judge the right arguments, those with a criminal charge can avoid facing the harsh penalties set for embezzlement in Florida.