Embezzlement is considered a serious white collar offense and is penalized as such in the state of Texas. At Alband, Lane & Balderama, our Fort Worth embezzlement attorneys have a deep understanding of Texas laws and will work tirelessly to build a strong defense on your behalf.
Call Alband, Lane & Balderama today at (817) 997-4366 or contact us online to schedule a consultation with our embezzlement lawyer in Fort Worth.
What is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement involves the misappropriation of funds authorized to an individual, often within a position of trust or responsibility. It occurs when someone wrongfully takes, uses, or converts someone else's property or money for their own benefit without the owner's consent. Embezzlement cases frequently involve employees, accountants, or individuals responsible for handling money or assets on behalf of a company, organization, or individual.
Embezzlement differs from other theft offenses, such as larceny or robbery, because it typically involves someone who had lawful access to the property or funds they are accused of embezzling. Common examples of embezzlement include:
- Corporate Embezzlement: This involves an employee stealing company funds or assets.
- Nonprofit Embezzlement: Embezzlement in nonprofit organizations is unfortunately common, where someone takes funds intended for charitable purposes.
- Government Embezzlement: Public officials or government employees may embezzle public funds.
- Employee Embezzlement: This occurs when an employee takes money or property from their employer.
What are the Penalties for Embezzlement in Texas?
Embezzlement is a serious offense in Texas, and the penalties may vary from mild to severe depending on the value of the property or funds embezzled. The consequences of embezzlement may include criminal, civil, and professional repercussions.
In Texas, the punishment for embezzlement is determined based on the value of the property or funds misappropriated. The penalties for embezzlement are as follows:
- Embezzlement of property or funds valued under $100: This is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by fines of up to $500.
- Embezzlement of property or funds valued between $100 and $750: This is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and fines that can reach up to $2,000.
- Embezzlement of property or funds valued between $750 and $2,500: This is a Class A misdemeanor, carrying a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000.
- Embezzlement of property or funds valued between $2,500 and $30,000: This is a state jail felony, with a punishment of 180 days to 2 years in state jail and a fine that can reach up to $10,000.
- Embezzlement of property or funds valued between $30,000 and $150,000: This is a third-degree felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and fines that can reach up to $10,000.
- Embezzlement of property or funds valued between $150,000 and $300,000: This is a second-degree felony, with a penalty of 2 to 20 years in prison and fines that can run up to $10,000.
- Embezzlement of property or funds valued over $300,000: This is a first-degree felony, bearing a punishment of 5 to 99 years in prison and fines that can reach up to $10,000.
Defenses Against Embezzlement Charges
Some potential defenses against embezzlement charges may include the following:
- Lack of Intent: Proving that there was no intent to embezzle funds is a strong defense. If the defendant can demonstrate that they genuinely believed they had the right to the property or funds, it can cast doubt on the prosecution's case.
- Lack of Evidence: The prosecution must provide substantial evidence to secure a conviction. An effective defense can involve challenging the evidence presented and highlighting weaknesses in the prosecution's case.
- Mistaken Identity: In some cases, embezzlement charges may arise due to mistaken identity. Demonstrating that someone else is responsible for the crime can be a viable defense.
- Entrapment or Coercion: If the defendant can prove that they were coerced or entrapped into committing the embezzlement, it can serve as a defense.
- Legal Compliance: In certain cases, individuals may have believed they were acting in accordance with their duties or following company procedures. Proving this compliance can be a strong defense.
Contact Our Embezzlement Lawyer in Fort Worth Today
If you or a loved one are facing embezzlement charges, it is crucial to act swiftly and secure skilled legal representation. The consequences of embezzlement convictions can be severe and life-altering. At Alband, Lane & Balderama, our Fort Worth embezzlement attorneys have the knowledge, experience, and resources to defend your case vigorously.
Contact Alband, Lane & Balderama today to get started with our Fort Worth embezzlement attorney.
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