ARRESTED? INVESTIGATED? ARRESTADO? INVESTIGADO?
Embezzlement under Florida’s laws is a type of property theft. It takes place when a defendant was entrusted to both monitor and manage a person’s property or money but in the end steals all or some of the money or property for their own use and personal gain.
The important thing is that to begin with, the defendant did have legal access to the person’s money or property, but didn’t posses any ownership of it legally. If the defendant takes the money or property for his or her gain this is considered to be stealing. It becomes embezzlement when the defendant has been in a position of trust. If you have been charged with embezzlement, mistakes may have been made by the officer who arrested you, so you may need experienced Miami criminal defense attorney Albert Quirantes Esq. to discuss and negotiate your
eventual charge and penalty on your behalf. Sometimes repayment can be negotiated and a criminal record can be avoided.
Examples of embezzlement
If you are a bank teller who has been given legal access to a client’s money, but you breach this trust and take some of this money, this could be construed as embezzlement.
If you are an officer or a worker in a company you may also embezzle money that belongs to the company. Even if you are a family member who has taken on the responsibility of caringfor a disabled or elderly relative you can be accused of embezzlement.
If you are a professional, like a lawyer, who handles a client’s money, you could end up being charged for embezzlement if you took some of your client’s money without consent.
How embezzlement is punished in Florida
In Florida, punishments for embezzlement depend on the sort of property stolen and its value as determined in Fl. Statute § 812.014. It is referred to as grand theft and has different degrees of punishment depending on the value of the intended theft.
Felony in the 1st degree
This is the charge when the property’s value is at least $100,000; is freight from a shipper’s loading facility with a value of at least $50,000, or is stolen when a state of emergency has been announced by the Governor. The penalty for this could be up to $10,000 in fines, a prison sentence of up to 30 years, or both. It should be noted that minimum sentencing guidelines for this level of crime call for a state prison sentence.
Felony in the 2nd degree
This is the charge when money or property has a value between $20,000 and $100,000; is freight with a value of less than $50,000 from a shipper’s loading facility, is equipment for the enforcement of law or is medical emergencyequipment attracting a value of $300 or more. If you organize the embezzlement with one or more people involving money or property valued at more than $3,000, it will attract a charge of felony in the 2nd degree. Penalties could be a $10,000 fine, or a prison term of up to 15 years or both.
Felony in the 3rd degree
This is the charge if the property has a value of $300 or more, but is less than $20,000; is a will or other testamentary tool; a firearm with any value; a commercially farmed animal; a fire extinguisher; 2,000 plus pieces of citrus fruit; a stop sign, any controlled substance such as an illegal drug.
Misdemeanor in the 1st degree
Embezzling money or property with a value of $100, but not as much as $300, is a misdemeanor in the 1st degree, referred to as petty theft. If you have one or two previous misdemeanor theft convictions this will attract penalties that apply to a misdemeanor in the 1stdegree. The fine could be up to $1,000, a prison term of up to 12 months or even both penalties.
Misdemeanor in the 2nd degree
Embezzlement of property valued at less than $100 or that has not been mentioned above is classified as a misdemeanor in the 2nd degree, attracting a fine up to $500, a prison term of up to 60 days, or both penalties.
The laws and penalties in Florida for embezzlement may be difficult to understand. If you have been charged with embezzlement or theft in any degree, you will need a criminal defense attorney to actively defend and ensure you don’t have the wrong charge and penalty forced upon you. You may be able to avoid a criminal record as well.
Even if you can’t escape the arrest, Miami criminal defense attorney Albert Quirantes may be able to negotiate other types of penalties other than those defined in the Florida statutes. Don’t risk your job, freedom and future. Contact Albert Quirantes Esq. Criminal DUI & Ticket Lawyers at 305-644-1800 today!