Employee Theft and Embezzlement
I see many of these embezzlement cases under California Penal Code 503 PC, and when people use the term embezzlement and the Van Nuys prosecutors are charging an embezzlement case, it usually has to do with some high-dollar and/or sophisticated fraud going on.
For example, an employee or someone in a company is stealing thousands of dollars. I've handled many of these theft crime cases in the Van Nuys court. They don't have a particular unit for it – unless it's a tremendous amount of money – then I've seen them send the case to downtown Los Angeles. But if they keep it in Van Nuys, it's going to have to be a high-dollar figure and involve a lot of sophistication.
Then they'll assign a prosecutor to the case, and that prosecutor will be the one in charge of it and has to deal with the criminal defendant. That has pluses and minuses to it. The minus to it is that the prosecutor – if they don't like the defendant and they want the defendant to get a lot of prison time – then that prosecutor, as far as an embezzlement case goes, is going to want prison time and all the money paid back and is going to want some actual strict conditions put on the defendant.
That's a downfall of having an assigned prosecutor to a case. But on the other hand, if the case is not the greatest – has some weak facts – or if the criminal defendant has some mitigating factors – maybe all the money can be paid back; that's always a great thing in an embezzlement case.
Maybe the person had some life struggles that they needed to deal with, and that's why they took the money. We can explain that to the specially assigned prosecutor. In contrast, the regular prosecutor sometimes doesn't have the time or energy to deal with some of the mitigating factors when these embezzlement cases are filed. So, there can be advantages to an embezzlement case, and the best person to capitalize and realize those mitigating factors is your criminal defense attorney.
Restitution in Embezzlement Cases
They are the ones that can talk to the prosecutor figure out what the prosecutor needs to make the victim whole in the case. Often, the biggest thing in an embezzlement case is if you can pay all the money back. That's huge. Because now the prosecutors feel like they've done their job. They look good in front of their boss. They look good in front of the alleged victim. So now, they're clear to possibly give you no jail time, set things up so you can earn a misdemeanor.
They can do all sorts of things to help a criminal defendant when the criminal defendant makes him look good by paying the money back, having no criminal record, having a family, and having a bunch of mitigating circumstances that the prosecutor can show their boss. Now we're in a strong position. Now we can try to get this embezzlement case resolved. The judges there are fair. The prosecutors are reasonable, especially if you can pay the victim back.
That's your first step towards getting your case resolved favorably. If you can't pay the victim back, and sometimes people can't, then other things can be arranged – like a payment plan and other things – but obviously, the more money the victim is out, the more time in custody the defendant is looking at. This is just a simple basic fact related to these embezzlement cases.
Retain a Criminal Defense Lawyer
So, as a criminal defense attorney, I am going to do everything I can to keep my client out of custody, try to set things up so they can get a misdemeanor, and eventually get the case dismissed. But, paying the money back goes a long way towards making this a reality. So, if you have one of these embezzlement cases and it involves a big company – which I've done a lot of these cases – come in, and let's sit down and get our strategy together. Let's see where we're at.
Let's see what happened, who the prosecutor is, who is in charge of the case, and see what we can figure out to get you a good result. Hence, you get out of the criminal justice system as fast as possible, get on with your life, protect your freedom, protect your future, and if you have to pay some money back, then so be it. We'll figure out how we can do it and what exactly can be done to get your embezzlement case resolved as fast as possible and get you the best possible result.
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Best Strategy if You're Charged with Embezzlement