What are the factors or elements for 503 PC Embezzlement

Under 503 PC, the crime of embezzlement in California is defined as fraudulently appropriating property that

  1. Belongs to someone else, and
  2. Has been entrusted to you.

The term “embezzlement” may make you think of a complicated “white-collar crime” involving large sums of money, committed by high-powered financiers or executives.

However, embezzlement charges in California, under Penal Code 503, are filed against all sorts of people, in all sorts of jobs and relationships, and can involve very small sums of money or other property.

You should know that you can be charged with, and convicted of, embezzlement even if you didn’t intend to keep the property in question and were only borrowing it temporarily. 

California Penal Code 503 PC Embezzlement

Legal Consequences:

Embezzlement in California is punished as a form of California grand theft or California petty theft, depending on the value and type property that is stolen or borrowed.

If the property is either

  1. Worth more than nine hundred fifty dollars ($950),
  2. An automobile, or
  3. A firearm,

then California embezzlement is a form of grand theft and is a wobbler in California law.

This means that it may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case.6 Misdemeanor grand theft embezzlement can lead to up to one (1) year in county jail, while felony grand theft embezzlement can land you in jail for up to three (3) years.

With property worth less than $950, embezzlement is a form of petty theft, a misdemeanor punishable by up to six (6) months in county jail. 

How can we defend you against charges of California Penal Code 503 PC Embezzlement?

Some common legal defenses to Penal Code 503 PC embezzlement include:

  • You believed in good faith that you had had a right to the property;
  • You lacked criminal intent; and
  • You were falsely accused. 

Contact us:

We have been successfully defending clients facing all types of criminal charges in Sonoma and Marin Counties, since 1992.

The 100 Trial Lawyers Association has recognized us as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in the country!

Please call our office today at (707) 571-8600 in our centrally located Santa Rosa office in Sonoma County or call our office in San Rafael in Marin County at (415) 492-4507 to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation.

Don’t bargain with your freedom! The right attorney makes all the difference between your freedom and incarceration!