Houston Embezzlement Attorney
Passionate Legal Advocates in Texas
Embezzlement, a form of white-collar crime, involves the misappropriation or theft of funds placed in one's trust, typically in a corporate setting. In Texas, the severity of embezzlement charges and corresponding penalties largely depend on the value of the stolen property or funds.
What Is Embezzlement?
Embezzlement is the unlawful taking of personal property by someone entrusted with safeguarding it. For example, an office manager is responsible for distributing paychecks, but they use their position to steal money from the company.
Other examples include:
- Transferring funds from corporate accounts to personal accounts
- Altering logbooks to conceal profits.
- Taking goods from an employer
Classifications and Penalties of Embezzlement in Texas
In Texas, embezzlement is categorized by the value of property stolen. In other words, taking high-value goods or a large amount of funds may result in harsher penalties if a person is convicted.
According to the Texas Penal Code, § 31.01, penalties for state embezzlement charges are as follows:
- Goods or funds up to $1,500: A misdemeanor, with a potential jail sentence of one year
- Goods or funds valued at $1,500-$20,000: Considered a state jail felony and may result in up to two years in state jail.
- Goods or funds valued at $20,000-$100,000: A third-degree felony with a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years.
- Goods or funds valued at $100,000-$200,000: A second-degree felony with a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
- Goods or funds worth more than $200,000: A first-degree felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison
The legal consequences of an embezzlement charge in Texas are serious. Apart from monetary fines and potential imprisonment, offenders face a criminal record that can affect future employment opportunities, professional reputation, and personal relationships.
Moreover, convicted individuals may also be required to pay restitution to the victim, which involves reimbursing the stolen amount. This is in addition to any imposed fines or sentences.
Prosecutors are responsible for proving that the accused had a responsibility to safeguard goods or funds or that they had a duty of care by virtue of their position. There must also be proof that the person knowingly and maliciously used deception and other means to obstruct financial information for personal gain.
It can be challenging to prove intention, and some individuals work in an environment with a high margin for error. With the help of an experienced attorney, individuals accused of state embezzlement charges can prove that the funds or goods were taken in error, that there was no intent to deprive the owner of their property, or that the owner gave their consent to take the property.
A Fierce Legal Advocate
Embezzlement is a serious crime in Texas, with severe penalties that can significantly impact an individual's life. Anyone facing these charges must seek legal counsel to understand the complexities of the law and navigate the legal process effectively.
At Guy L. Womack & Associates, P.C., we believe in thoroughly investigating each case to uncover crucial evidence. With over 60 years of combined experience, our team provides high-caliber legal counsel backed by a proven track record of success.
Entrust your case to our Houston embezzlement attorney and get the fierce defense you deserve. Contact us today.
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