Facing an embezzlement charge can be a terrifying situation. Allegations of this crime may leave you feeling overwhelmed and uncertain about your future.
The term “embezzlement” isn’t an actual separate offense under Texas law. Instead, it falls under the criminal charge of theft. The difference is that it involves a breach of trust.
The severity of the punishment is usually based on the property’s value
Any property under $100 is considered a Class C misdemeanor with a fine of less than $500. At the other end of the scale, it is a first-degree felony if the stolen property is more than $300,000. The penalty is at least five years in prison and a fine not exceeding $10,000.
Explaining why you did something could affect sentencing
Under ordinary circumstances, most people would never contemplate embezzling from their company or an organization. But sometimes their situation may compel them to engage in this illegal conduct. Examples could include
- Dealing with significant financial burdens from overwhelming debt, medical expenses or other unexpected costs.
- They have a substance use disorder or a gambling problem and need money to feed their addiction.
- They may have a psychological condition that causes them to steal even though they have no need.
Telling a court more about your situation is highly unlikely to save you from some sort of consequences if there is sufficient evidence to show you did commit a crime. However, your explanation may persuade the judge to act with more leniency when sentencing. Sometimes that is the most realistic defense option you have.