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What are the penalties for embezzlement in Florida?

On Behalf of | Feb 1, 2024 | Criminal Law

Embezzlement is a serious offense that occurs when someone entrusted with handling funds misappropriates them for personal gain.

In the state of Florida, strict legal measures are in place to deter individuals from engaging in such activities.

Criminal charges

If found guilty of embezzlement in Florida, the accused may face criminal charges, which can vary based on the amount of money involved. Florida typically categorizes embezzlement cases as either petit theft or grand theft, depending on the severity of the offense.

Petit theft

For embezzlement involving smaller amounts, the crime is often charged as petit theft. In Florida, petit theft is a misdemeanor offense. If the embezzled amount is less than $750, the individual may face penalties such as fines, probation or even imprisonment for a period of up to one year.

Grand theft

When the embezzled amount exceeds $750, the offense is grand theft, a more serious crime with harsher penalties. Grand theft is a felony, and the severity of the punishment depends on the specific circumstances. If the embezzled amount is between $750 and $20,000, it is a third-degree felony, punishable by significant fines and up to five years of imprisonment.

Enhanced penalties

In certain situations, the court may enhance the penalties for embezzlement. For instance, if the accused holds a position of trust or authority within the organization, the court may impose more severe consequences. Additionally, prior criminal history can also influence the sentencing, leading to increased fines and longer periods of imprisonment.

Restitution

In addition to fines and imprisonment, a court may order the convicted individual to pay restitution to the victim. Restitution involves returning the stolen funds to the rightful owner, aiming to compensate for the financial loss suffered as a result of the embezzlement.

The legal system in Florida aims to deter and punish those who engage in embezzlement, reinforcing the importance of honesty and integrity in financial matters.

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