Consequences of Embezzlement in Texas

Embezzlement in Texas is a serious crime where someone misuses money or property that was trusted to them by someone else. Embezzlement is a type of theft that is classified as a white-collar crime in Texas. Individuals convicted of a crime might potentially confront serious consequences such as incarceration and hefty financial fines. Suspected individuals must know the details of embezzlement and when they could face charges in Texas.

Embezzlement in Texas Explained

In Texas, you can find the laws about embezzlement in the Texas Penal Code, specifically in Title 7, Chapter 31. These laws treat embezzlement as a type of “theft.”

Embezzlement, in simple terms, means when someone takes things that don’t belong to them and uses them for themselves. It’s like if you borrowed your friend’s toy and decided to keep it for yourself.

This is a kind of theft where people usually take money or stuff that belongs to someone else. Even though we often call this “embezzlement,” the official Texas law doesn’t use that word. Alternatively, it’s viewed as a form of robbery.

Embezzlement can take several forms, including:

  • Transferring cash from corporate accounts to personal accounts
  • Manipulation of a company’s financial records in order to conceal theft
  • Using corporate cash to pay for non-business personal expenses
  • Taking supplies or equipment from a workplace, such as computers
  • Making up fake workers or vendors and sending ample amounts of money to them

Elements of Embezzlement

The elements required to establish theft in Texas, which typically apply to embezzlement cases, include:

  1. Appropriation: The accused must have unlawfully taken someone else’s property or funds without their consent. This means they didn’t have permission to use or take these assets.
  2. Intent: The person must have wanted to keep someone’s things or money forever. In other words, they intended to keep it for themselves.
  3. Ownership or Possession: Someone else should own or control the property or wealth. The person accused must have had access to it due to their job, position, or relationship with the owner.
  4. Deprivation: The person who owns the property or money must have lost it because of what the accused person did.
  5. Value: In Texas, theft is when something has a specific value according to the law. The threshold value can vary depending on the specific charge (e.g., misdemeanor or felony).

Penalties for Embezzlement in Texas

The particular penalties a person may incur if convicted of embezzlement in Texas depend on the amount of property allegedly taken or mismanaged for personal gain. 

Less than $100: A Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500. 

More than $100 but less than $750: A Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in county prison and a $2,000 fine.

More than $750 but less than $2,500: a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county prison and a $4,000 fine.

More than $2,500 but less than $30,000: state jail felony punishable by 6 months to 2 years in a state jail and a $10,000 fine

More than $30,000 but less than $150,000: third-degree felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

$150,000 to less than $300,000: second-degree felony punishable by 2 to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

$300,000 or more: first-degree felony punishable by five to 99 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Arrested? Don’t Plea, Call Me!

If you are charged with embezzlement charges in Texas is a serious situation. If you’re found guilty, you could end up in jail, have to pay fines, and might need to give back the money or things you took from your former employer. If you’re accused of embezzlement or another serious theft crime, it’s important to hire a white-collar lawyer who knows how to defend you strongly against these charges.

Texas Criminal Defense Group knows its way around this legal stuff is really important. You should get in touch with our experienced defense attorneys as soon as you can. Just so you know, embezzlement laws in Texas can be a real head-scratcher. If you’re facing these charges or you’re unsure about your situation, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.