Sometimes, employees take advantage of opportunities for theft at work. Perhaps, you are a work at a high-end clothing store, handling thousands of dollars a day. Or you are your company’s bookkeeper and easily can alter your recordkeeping. At some point, you may submit to your temptation to filter more money your way – maybe to replace your car that’s falling apart or pay off some medical bills.
But then, the unthinkable happens: Your employer discovers that you are stealing from the company. Now, you are facing embezzlement charges and aren’t sure what to do. What kind of penalties will you face if you are convicted?
Texas embezzlement penalties
Embezzlement falls under Texas’ laws about theft. The penalties you may face if you receive a conviction from your embezzlement charges will depend on how much money or goods you are guilty of stealing from your employer, so:
- If you only stole $1,500 or less from your employer, Texas law considers that a misdemeanor, yet you could still face one year in jail.
- If you steal between $1,500 to $20,000 from your employer, Texas classifies that as a felony and you could face up to two years in jail.
- If you steal between $20,000 to $100,000 from your employer, Texas considers that a third-degree felony and you could spend two to 10 years in prison.
- If you steal between $100,000 and $200,000 from your employer, that’s a second-degree felony in Texas and you could spend two to 20 years in prison.
- If you steal more than $200,000 from your employer, Texas considers that a first-degree felony and you could spend five to 99 years in prison.
What to do when arrested for embezzlement
If police arrest you for embezzlement, you need to contact an experienced defense attorney right away. You should not answer any questioning from police about your alleged theft without an attorney present. You may say something that further implicates you or provides police with more evidence to convict you.
An attorney can help prepare a defense against the embezzlement charges you face and negotiate for reduced penalties if you receive a conviction.
You have rights when facing embezzlement or other white-collar crime charges. With an attorney’s help, you can protect those rights and possibly avoid jail time.