November 16, 2023 By Wallin & Klarich

Is Embezzlement A Felony? Everything You Need

In California, embezzlement is a serious criminal offense and can lead to heavy fines or prison time. Embezzlement is defined as the act of wrongfully appropriating funds that have been entrusted to you, but belong to someone else. It is a form of white-collar crime that is often committed by individuals in positions of trust, such as employees or financial advisors. 

Choosing Wallin & Klarich to represent your case puts you in a better position to receive the best outcome for your case. We have over 40 years of experience in Southern California. Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL  for your free appeal consultation!

Felony or Misdemeanor?

Embezzlement charges may range from a misdemeanor to a felony, depending upon the value of the funds misappropriated. Typically, if the amount of the funds is less than $950 then it will be classified as a misdemeanor. If the amount of the funds is more than $950 then it will be classified as a felony. 

In accordance with California’s embezzlement laws, if the prosecution fails to establish that the value of the embezzled property was more than $950, a charge of grand theft embezzlement can be downgraded to petty theft. Furthermore, if the embezzled property is valued at $50 or less and there are no prior theft-related offenses on record, the charge can be further reduced to an infraction. In such cases, the maximum penalty would be a fine of $250.

The value of the embezzled property is assessed based on its current market value at the time of the offense, rather than its initial purchase price. It is worth noting that certain items like paintings and antiques tend to increase in value over time, whereas cars typically depreciate as soon as they are driven off the dealership lot. In some cases, victims may overestimate the value of the property or law enforcement may assign an arbitrary figure to represent its worth. 

Whether you’re being charged with embezzlement as a felony or a misdemeanor, it is important to have a skilled defense attorney on your side. A skilled defense attorney will know the best defenses to raise to help your case to help you get the best outcome for your case. Call our office today for a free consultation!


The penalties for an embezzlement conviction vary depending on if it’s classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Below are some common penalties for embezzlement:

  • Misdemeanor
    • Up to 6 months in jail
    • Court fines
  • Felony
    • Up to 3 years in prison

Whether you are being charged with a misdemeanor or felony, embezzlement is a serious crimes with the potential for lifelong consequences. In addition to jail time and fines, your personal and professional life can be affected long after your sentence if over. For example, potential employers may be less likely to hire you after an embezzlement conviction. This could lead to the inability to find steady employment. Additionally, personal relationships with friends and family may suffer as a result of an embezzlement conviction. While it may seem like your life is over when facing an embezzlement charge, it doesn’t have to be. Having a skilled defense attorney on your side is the first step to receiving the best result for your case. Contact our office today!

Contact Wallin & Klarich Today 

If you have been accused of any type of murder, you need an aggressive defense attorney to fight for your freedom. With 40+ years of experience, our attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have helped thousands of clients win their cases or get their charges reduced to a lesser degree. We know the most effective defenses to argue on your behalf, and we will do everything in our power to help you achieve the best possible result in your case. 

You may not be aware of all your options. Calling our office costs you nothing, but picking up the phone could be the difference between years in prison and years of freedom. Let our skilled attorneys examine your case to find the best way to avoid prison.

Discover how our team can assist you. Contact us today, toll-free at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free consultation with a skilled defense attorney.

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