Facts about Florida embezzlement
Charges of embezzlement can have serious legal consequences. Florida categorizes embezzlement under its general theft laws.
Learn what to expect if you face a hearing for embezzlement at the state level.
Defining embezzlement in Florida
Embezzlement means that the plaintiff entrusted the defendant with assets and he or she misappropriated, spent or used these funds without permission. Generally, embezzlement involves an employer and employee relationship. The stolen property in question can consist of cash or other items of value.
Florida may consider this crime either petit theft or grand theft based on the amount in question. Embezzlement typically results in felony charges although the court may consider misdemeanor charges for theft of less than $300.
Understanding embezzlement penalties
Florida may impose the following criminal charges for embezzlement:
- Third-degree grand theft for amounts from $300 to $20,000, carrying a fine of up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison
- Second-degree grand theft for $20,000 to $100,000, carrying a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 15 years in prison
- First-degree grand theft for $100,000 or more, carrying a fine of up to $10,000 and up to 30 years in prison
You have the right to defend yourself from embezzlement charges in court as well as to hire a lawyer to advocate for your rights. For example, you may argue that you received consent to use the funds or that you acted in good faith.
You must gather evidence to support your case, including but not limited to bank records, correspondence and eyewitness testimony. Acting as soon as possible improves your chances of resolving your case favorably.