Florida does not have a specific statute addressing embezzlement. Rather, the state categorizes and punishes embezzlement under Florida Statute § 812.014, the section that details theft crimes. Because embezzlement convictions usually mean prison time and large fines (and potentially the end of your career and your reputation), it is essential to contact an embezzlement lawyer in St. Petersburg at Goldman Wetzel. Call 727-828-3900.
What is embezzlement?
Theft is taking property to which you do not have rights. Embezzlement is a type of theft. In cases of embezzlement, the accused had lawful access to the property – but did not own it – and stole it or used it unlawfully for personal gain.
Below are a few examples of embezzlement.
- Employees who steal the company’s goods or funds
- Cashiers who pocket the company’s money
- Family members who were overseeing and then stole their relative’s funds
- Board members who funnel the board’s assets to private accounts
- Financial professionals who take their clients’ or investors’ funds
If the state has accused you of embezzlement or you are facing theft charges, you could be facing serious penalties. Work with Goldman Wetzel to evaluate the details of your case and build a defense.
What are the penalties for embezzlement in Florida?
Like all theft charges, the type and value of the property in question determines the way in which the state categorizes and punishes embezzlement.
- Less than $100 – The charge will be a second-degree misdemeanor, carrying a punishment of up to 60 days in jail and/or up to a $500 fine. [Fla. Stat. §812.014(3)(a)]
- $100 to less than $300 – The charge will be a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. [Fla. Stat. §812.014(2)(e)]
If the value of the property was $300 or more, the defendant faces grand theft charges.
- $300 to less than $20,000 – The charge will be a third-degree felony, carrying a punishment of up to five years in prison and/or up to a $5,000 fine. [Fla. Stat. §812.014(2)(c)]
- $20,000 to less than $100,000 – The charge will be a second-degree felony, carrying a punishment of up to 15 years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine. [Fla. Stat. §812.014(2)(b)]
- $100,000 or more – The charge will be a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or up to a $10,000 fine. [Fla. Stat. §812.014(2)(a)]
Learn more about these charges on our grand theft page.
Are there federal charges for embezzlement?
If convicted of federal embezzlement charges, the penalties can be higher. For example:
- Embezzlement by a bank officer or employee can lead to fines of up to $1 million dollars and/or 30 years in prison. If the amount in question is $1,000 or less, the defendant faces a fine and up to a year in prison. [18 U.S. Code § 656]
- Embezzlement in relation to healthcare can lead to fines and up to 10 years in prison. If the amount in question is $100 or less, the defendant faces fines and up to a year in prison. [18 U.S. Code § 669]
How can Goldman Wetzel help me with my embezzlement charges?
Goldman Wetzel handles all types of theft charges in Florida, including those related to embezzlement. Let us review your case and explain exactly what you are up against. We will explore possible defenses with you and the best ways to approach your case to possibly avoid charges and conviction, or reduce the penalties you face.
Contact us today at 727-828-3900 to speak to an embezzlement lawyer in St. Petersburg.