Fraud Defense

A conviction for any crime in California can ruin your life. If you’re found guilty of committing a “white-collar” crime such as fraud or embezzlement, you could be facing big fines as well as jail time. Having a fraud or embezzlement conviction on your record will certainly make it difficult for you to find meaningful employment or qualify for a loan, credit, or other financial services.

Fraud Defense

Embezzlement in Orange County CA

California state law defines embezzlement as the fraudulent appropriation of property (public or private) by a person to whom it has been entrusted. Normally embezzlement is a misdemeanor crime (petty theft) in California. However, if the amount you’ve alleged embezzled is more than $950, you could be charged with a felony (grand theft). You can also be charged with grand theft if the property embezzled includes an automobile or firearm.

If convicted on misdemeanor charges, you could be looking at fines of up to $10,000 and/or up to a year in the county jail. A felony conviction could get you up to three years in jail. You could also face additional aggravated charges if the victim was an elderly or dependent person. Also, keep in mind, there is no statute of limitations for bringing charges if you embezzled public funds.

Defenses Against Charges of Embezzlement

Don’t take “white-collar” charges lightly. If you’ve been charged with embezzlement in Orange County CA, contact the law offices of Jim Tanizaki without delay. Jim is a former Orange County DA turned criminal defense attorney. His unique background gives him valuable insights into how the prosecution will pursue its case against you. This allows him to create effective defense strategies designed to result in reduced or dismissed charges for his clients.

In order to get a conviction, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that:

  • There was a fiduciary relationship between you and the owner of the property or cash.
  • You used that relationship to acquire the property or cash.
  • You took ownership of the property or cash.
  • Your actions to acquire the property or cash and take ownership were intentional.

Depending on the circumstances, defense strategies can include:

  • You didn’t use the property or money inappropriately.
  • You had a good faith belief that you had a right to the property.
  • You had no intent to deprive the property owner of his property or use. (This can be tricky since the law states that “borrowing” property without the owner’s permission, even though you intended to return it, may still be considered as embezzlement.)

Speak to an Orange County CA Embezzlement Attorney

People who commit “white-collar” crimes often have more to lose than those charged with other crimes. In addition to losing your job, jail time and fines could result in you losing your home, automobile, and other property. If you’ve been accused of embezzlement in Orange County, it’s important to take immediate steps to protect your rights.

If you’ve been arrested and charged with misdemeanor or felony embezzlement, contact the law offices of Orange County, CA embezzlement lawyer Jim Tanizaki. You can reach us through our website, or call us at (714) 655-7633 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case and legal options.