What is Embezzlement?

The criminal conduct called “embezzlement,” is typically charged in California criminal courts as a violation of Penal Code Section 487(a)—commonly known as Grand Theft (if the theft exceeds $400). The offense carries a maximum of 1 year in the county jail or 3 years in prison. If the amount of theft exceeds $50,000, the “Economic Crimes” enhancements are applicable, and the prison time is increased to 4 years and up. When appropriate mitigation is presented to the Court and the District Attorney, the large majority of our clients have not gone to jail or prison. This is because we worked out alternative dispositions involving community service, restitution, probation, and fines instead of jail. What if the employer wants to drop the charges? The police and prosecutors are usually unwilling to dismiss a case once it is filed, as they are concerned that resources have been expended to investigate, document, and bring the case to court.