What Is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is a crime frequently mentioned in our favorite television dramas, usually portrayed by a white-collar employee at a big corporate firm, typing away on a laptop in the dark of their empty office building. While embezzlement may not always be as intense or dramatic as it’s commonly portrayed, it is a crime taken very seriously in Texas, and isn’t always perpetrated by a disgruntled vice president in a fancy suit – any employee can face a charge of embezzlement, even for amounts as low as $100.

What Constitutes Embezzlement?

Embezzlement is classified as theft under Texas law, and occurs when an employee steals from an employer, whether that be cash, assets, services, goods, or anything else of value to the employer. This can include directly stealing money from a cash register, taking money from a business exchange for yourself, or as commonly shown in television dramas, re-routing funds sent to a business into a personal account. Depending on the value of what was stolen, embezzlement can be either a felony or misdemeanor charge. If the total value stolen is less than $2,500, the charge will be misdemeanor embezzlement, while anything above is considered a felony. 

What Are the Penalties for Embezzlement?

The penalties for a charge of embezzlement vary depending on the amount stolen. For a misdemeanor charge, the penalty is a sentence of up to one year in jail. At the felony level, penalties are further broken down into four different categories depending on the amount stolen: Up to $20,000 is considered a state jail felony, which carries up to two years in jail; up to $100,000 is a third-degree felony, and up to ten years in state prison; up to $200,000 is a second-degree felony, up to 20 years in state prison; and above $200,000 is a first-degree felony, which carries a wide-ranging sentence of between five and ninety-nine years in state prison. Once the charges have reached the felony level, fines may also be imposed, up to $10,000.

With such severe punishments available, many people become understandably nervous when accused of embezzlement. If you’re facing embezzlement accusations in Texas, your first step should be to call a qualified criminal defense attorney. Our team can help fight for your case and ensure that your voice is heard. Contact us today at (214) 833-9414 or email at contact@rosscrimlaw.com to see what we can do for your case.

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Law Office of Kevin B. Ross, P.C.

Texas criminal defense attorneys Kevin B. Ross and Kristen Beckman bring a team approach to the Law Office of Kevin B. Ross, P.C., a Dallas criminal defense law firm that provides PROFESSIONAL, PERSONAL, and PROVEN representation to people in Texas who are accused of state and federal criminal offenses. We believe everyone deserves the strongest and most effective defense possible. The firm represents clients across Texas who are charged with crimes ranging from federal white-collar crimes to state drug charges, DWIs to murder, and everything in between.

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