Embezzlement occurs when an individual in charge of managing or monitoring another individual’s money or property steals some or all of that property. The accused person must have legal access to another individual’s assets, but not ownership of them. Bank tellers, guardians responsible for the finances of loved ones, and professionals such as accountants, bookkeepers, and others in positions of trust are all individuals capable of embezzlement.

If you are accused of embezzlement, prosecutors must prove beyond reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. Our Dallas criminal defense attorneys, Keith and Kevin Harris, can stand by your side and defend your rights. Both Keith and Kevin have significant experience as both criminal prosecutors and defenders, so they know how to aggressively defend the rights of those accused of embezzlement and other serious crimes.

Embezzlement Penalties in Texas

Texas law punishes embezzlement primarily based on the amount and type of property stolen. Embezzling even $500 can amount to one year in jail, and the sentence gradually increases depending on the amount stolen:

  • Embezzling $20,000 can result in up to 10 years in prison

  • Embezzling $100,000 may result in 20 years in prison

  • Stealing $200,000 or more can lead to up to 99 years in prison with a fine of up to $10,000

Stealing official ballots for an election, stealing livestock, or embezzling from an ATM can lead to significant penalties, regardless of the total value of stolen property.

Additionally, embezzlement penalties can be increased based on a number of aggravating factors. For example, if the alleged victim is an elderly individual or a nonprofit organization, or if the defendant is a public servant, the offense may be considered aggravated.

Defend Yourself Against Embezzlement Charges

In some cases, people accused of embezzlement made a mistake because they were not aware that they were breaking the law. Sometimes the alleged victim actually gave the accused permission to transfer assets and then later forgot about the permission or had a change of mind. In other cases, it may have simply been a bookkeeping error or oversight. Our attorneys know that each embezzlement case is unique, and they can craft a legal strategy that upholds your constitutional rights and presents a strong defense.