In the state of Pennsylvania, embezzlement is considered a serious criminal offense. As such, being convicted of this crime may carry serious penalties, with lasting repercussions. In order to protect their rights, and their futures, it is important for those who have been charged with this white collar crime to understand the potential consequences.
According to the Pennsylvania State Police, people may be charged with embezzlement if it is alleged that they have unlawfully misappropriated another’s money, property or other item of value for his or her own use. This differs from general theft in that prior to the misappropriation, the allegedly stolen property was entrusted to the suspected offender’s care. Depending on the circumstances, this white collar crime may be charged as a third, second or first-degree felony.
Considered a form of theft, Pennsylvania state law specifies a range of penalties that may be levied against those who are convicted of embezzlement. The level of offense that a person is charged with, and thus the associated penalties they may face, varies based on a number of factors, including the amount of money, or the value of the property, that was allegedly misappropriated.
If convicted of third-degree embezzlement, people may be sentenced to a maximum of seven years in prison. Additionally, they may be fined up to $15,000. Should a person be convicted of embezzlement in the second degree, he or she may face up to 10 years in prison, and be fined as much as $25,000. Under Pennsylvania state law, those accused of this white collar crime involving more than $500,000 may be charged with a first-degree felony. If convicted of this offense, they may be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison. In addition, they may be fined up to $25,000.
Even just an allegation of embezzlement can have life-changing implications for people in Philadelphia, and throughout Pennsylvania. Therefore, those who have been charged with this serious offense may find it of benefit to obtain legal representation. An attorney may help them understand their options, as well as build a solid criminal defense.