Embezzlement, in the simplest sense of the definition, refers to the theft of money by an employee, business owner, financial fiduciary, or some other individual who was entrusted with money or goods. Such theft is typically for personal gain and involves deliberately deceiving an entity or person through misleading or deceiving conduct, misrepresentations, or false statements for personal monetary gain. Regardless of how the offense took place, embezzlement is a crime and is punishable by jail or prison time, fines, and other penalties. Let’s take a closer look at embezzlement laws in Texas.
Penalties for Embezzlement in Texas
Texas penal code includes a number of different penalties for an embezzlement conviction. Which penalty the court assesses depends on various factors including the value of goods, services, or cash taken, and whether or not you are considered a public servant. Below is a brief breakdown of the type of charges and penalties you could face if convicted:
- If you embezzled less than $2,500 in goods, services, or cash, you may face misdemeanor charges and up to one year in jail
- If you embezzled $2,500 or more but less than $30,000, the state may charge you with a state felony, which is punishable by up to two years in state jail
- If you embezzled $30,000 or more but less than $150,000, the state may charge you with a third-degree felony, which carries a prison sentence between two and 10 years
- If you embezzled $150,000 or more but less than $300,000, the state may charge you with a second-degree felony, which carries a prison term between two and 20 years
- If you embezzled greater than $300,000, the state may charge you with a first-degree felony, which carries a prison sentence between five and 99 years in state prison.
A knowledgeable attorney can work to fight a charge and/or help reduce a sentence.
Elements of Embezzlement
In Texas, prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acquired the goods, money, or property with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of their property. The prosecutor must also show that the rightful property owner did not give the defendant permission to appropriate the property in question. Some examples of obvious embezzlement are as follows:
- Stealing cash from an employer
- Stealing goods or services from an employer
- Transferring money from an employer’s account to a personal bank account
- Changing a company’s financial records to conceal an employer’s or employee’s income
- Using a company account or credit card to pay for non-business, personal expenses
Your Defense to Embezzlement in Texas
Your defense to embezzlement begins with retaining the help of an aggressive and knowledgeable Texas trial attorney. Our lawyers at Abrams Trial Law, former felony assistant district attorneys, have successfully defended clients in embezzlement cases and other cases of fraud, theft, or fiduciary abuse. We are prepared to put our resources to work for you to defend your innocence, freedom, and reputation. If you face embezzlement charges of any degree, do not put off retaining legal representation.
Contact Abrams Trial Law to begin building your case today.