Embezzlement is a serious problem across the United States, and as a white-collar crime, can get you into deep trouble with the federal government and your state. Embezzlement is an offense that can be prosecuted based on Florida's theft laws. In general, these laws apply to those who take or use other people's property without authorization. The intention must be to keep the property, not to give it back to the original owner.
As someone who is accused of embezzlement, something you should know is that it's not very easy to get a conviction. Why? The state has to prove that you had the intention of using property without the victim's consent. If you accidentally spent funds or lost items belonging to another party, then it would be very difficult to prove embezzlement.
One thing many people don't know is that embezzlement can be charged as petite theft or as grand theft, depending on the amount of money involved. The theft of property valued at $300 and higher can be charged as grand theft in Florida.
What defenses are there against embezzlement charges?
There are a couple defenses to embezzlement charges including:
- Consent to use the funds or items in the manner they were used, even if they were spent in full
- The belief, in good faith, that you had the right of ownership or to possess the property
If you are accused of theft or embezzlement, don't wait to set up a defense. It's in your best interests to work with your attorney to begin defending yourself right away.