Looking for a trusted, experienced, and reputable embezzlement lawyer? Fresno criminal attorney Mark Broughton believes everyone has a right to a fair trial, and he may be able to help.
What is Embezzlement?
The legal definition of embezzlement in California, under Penal Code 503, is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been entrusted. There are certain elements of embezzlement that must be true in order for a person to be guilty. All of the following must be true:
- The owner of the property entrusted you with the property (this can be done directly or through an agent).
- The owner did this because they trusted you with their property.
- You used that property or fraudulently converted it for your own gain.
- You intended to rob the owner of the property or its use.
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“After the first meeting with Mark, I knew we were in the right place. Mark was able to get answers and call all the right people to protect my child. We would never deal with the criminal justice system again with out Mark Broughton at our side. We are very thankful we found him and the matter with our son went away quickly.”
“Mr. Broughton is top notch. My son was facing a felony, strike charge. Mr. Broughton fought for my son’s pre-trial release against the recommendation of the probation department, and my son was able to come home. Today, the case was resolved and the outcome was minor in comparison to the charge. I highly recommend Mark Broughton!”
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Elements of Embezzlement
Trust from the Owner
You can only be charged with embezzlement if the owner entrusted their property to you. This could happen if:
- You were an employee of the owner
- You were the “bailee” of the owner’s property – meaning you had temporary possession of the property
- You were part of an organization and had the right to manage its money or property
Using or Fraudulently Taking the Property
You can only be charged with embezzlement if you used or fraudulently took the property. This could happen if:
- You take excessive advantage of another person, or
- You caused a loss to the owner by breaking their trust
Intending to Rob the Owner of the Property or Its Use
You can only be guilty of embezzlement if you intend to deprive the owner of their property or its use. You don’t have to deprive them of their property permanently, it could only be temporarily. Even if you intend to return or repay it later, it is still embezzlement and is not a valid defense.
Penalties for Embezzlement
The penalties for embezzlement vary depending on the value of the property that was embezzled. There is grand theft embezzlement and petty theft embezzlement.
Penalties for Grand Theft Embezzlement
Embezzlement is grand theft under Penal Code 487 if any of the following are true:
- The property embezzled was worth more than $950
- An automobile was embezzled (becomes a form of grand theft auto)
- A firearm was embezzled (becomes a form of grand theft firearm)
In State Court, grand theft embezzlement could also be smaller items that add up to $950 in a 12-month period.
In most cases, grand theft embezzlement is a wobbler, meaning it can be charged as a felony or a misdemeanor depending on the circumstance of the case and if the defendant has any criminal history. If the property embezzled was a firearm, then it is always a felony.
Misdemeanor Theft Embezzlement Penalties
- Misdemeanor probation
- A fine up to $1,000
Counterfeiting Credit Card Penalties
The penalties for counterfeiting card cards vary depending on how it was counterfeited. The penalties include:
- Felony probation
- A fine up to $10,000
Felony Grand Theft Embezzlement of Firearms Penalties
- Felony probation
- A fine up to $10,000
There are additional penalties as well if the owner of the property suffered a particularly high loss of monetary value.
Potential Sentence Enhancements for Felony Embezzlement of High-Value Property
- For more than $65,000 – 1 additional year
- For more than $200,000 – 2 additional years
- For more than $1,300,000 – 3 additional years
- For more than $3,200,000 – 4 additional years
Penalties for Petty Theft Embezzlement
Embezzlement value under $950 is California petty theft, under Penal Code 488. Embezzlement petty theft is a misdemeanor and the potential penalties include any of the following:
- Misdemeanor probation
- A fine up to $1,000
Have you been legally accused of committing embezzlement? If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, it is essential to obtain legal council for help. It’s important to take your charges seriously. Don’t just hope for the best. Hire the best Embezzlement Lawyer in Fresno who understands your situation and the consequences you face.
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Your Embezzlement Lawyer, Fresno
I’m Mark A. Broughton and I’m here to fight for you. I have been a defense Attorney for 40+ years and have represented thousands of people accused of crimes. I have extensive experience representing citizens charged with White Collar Crimes such as Credit Card Fraud, Insurance Fraud, Mortgage Fraud, and Prescription Drug Fraud, to name a few.
About Mark Broughton:
Compassionate, highly experienced, exceptional reputation, ethical and honest:
Mark Broughton has been practicing law for over 40 years. He estimates that he has conducted over 200 jury trials – everything from DUIs, drug cases, sex cases, domestic violence, assaults, “three-strikes,” dozens of cases involving criminal street gangs, gun/deadly weapons, drive-by shootings, robberies, attempted murders, and murders, including special circumstance murder cases.
He has received many outright Not Guilty verdicts for his clients in all of these types of cases, including several murder cases – at one time between 2005-2007, the jury found his clients Not Guilty in four separate cases in a row.
Mark Broughton is qualified as a death penalty lawyer and is on the special circumstances/death penalty panel of attorneys in Fresno, California, where he is regularly appointed to special circumstances/death penalty murder cases by the Fresno County Superior Court.
- Certified Specialist Criminal Law, State Bar of California
- Board of Trustees, State Bar of California
- Chairman, Fresno County Bar Association, Criminal Law Section
Mark Broughton enjoys close relationships with his clients. He sees every individual’s situation with compassion and empathy and believes that every person has the right to a fair trial and is innocent until proven guilty.
Above all, he enjoys helping reunite his clients and their families during and after dealing with perhaps the most difficult time in their lives, going through the challenging criminal process with them.
- Federal Crime 40%
- White Collar Crime 20%
- Violent Crime 20%
- Criminal Defense 10%
- Sex Crimes 10%
I began my legal career in San Diego where I practiced criminal law, civil litigation, and personal injury. After a very successful practice there for 17 years, my family and I moved to Fresno, California, in 1995. Since that time, I have practiced exclusively criminal law. I was the Chief Defense Attorney for a 17 attorney criminal defense law firm that handled 3-4,000 felony cases a year. I left that firm to associate and partner with a very successful criminal law practitioner where I am continuing my commitment help protect the Constitutional rights of my clients.
I estimate that I have conducted over 200 jury trials – everything from DUIs, drug cases, sex cases, domestic violence, assaults, “three-strikes,” dozens of cases involving criminal street gangs, gun/deadly weapons, drive-by shootings, robberies, attempted murders, and murders, including special circumstance murder cases.
I have received many outright Not Guilty verdicts for my clients in all of these types of cases, including several murder cases – at one time between 2005-2007, the jury found my clients Not Guilty in four separate cases in a row. I have handled all kinds of criminal and related criminal proceedings, from violation of probation and parole hearings, DMV hearings, writs & appeals, and many other types of proceedings in the criminal process.
I have practiced all over California, in both state and Federal Court. I am qualified as a death penalty lawyer and am on the special circumstances/death penalty panel of attorneys in Fresno, California, where I am regularly appointed to special circumstances/death penalty murder cases by the Fresno County Superior Court. One of my greatest pleasures over my long career has been to teach and train young lawyers and law students. Most of them have gone on to be successful lawyers in their own right, and have triumphantly represented their own clients in an honest and professional way.
Community Involvement & Family
I have been involved in many community organizations, taught classes at the local law school, been a Mock Trial Attorney Judge and team coach, served as Judge Pro-Tempore for the Fresno County Superior Court, given many seminars to other attorneys, and started an organization for criminal defense lawyers to share useful information among themselves. Above all, I enjoy helping reunite my clients and their families during and after dealing with perhaps the most difficult time in their lives, going through the challenging criminal process with them. This is particularly true where alcohol or substance abuse issues have ripped formerly close and loving families apart.
I have saved the many letters of appreciation from clients and their families to whom I have been fortunate enough to have been of service. It is most gratifying for me to see them get back together, overcome their difficulties and live happy and fulfilled lives. Helping people is, after all, what being a good lawyer is all about. I like going to football and baseball games, fishing, surfing, and going to Hawaii where I can get caught up on my reading list and swim in the warm waters of the Pacific. I love sharing the lives of my two children, two grandchildren and spending time with Andrea, my wife of over 30 years.