Embezzlement Defense for Accused Individuals

Facing embezzlement charges? Discover how The Law Office of Valery Nechay can protect your rights and secure your future. Learn more about our approach to fighting embezzlement allegations in San Francisco.

Dealing With Embezzlement Charges

Have you found yourself entangled in the anxiety-inducing net of embezzlement charges? These are serious accusations that carry significant repercussions, including the possibility of both misdemeanor and felony convictions, depending on the amount of funds involved among other factors.

Facing the courtroom alone against a state prosecutor promises a steep uphill battle; it is a scenario you cannot afford to tackle without formidable legal representation. At The Law Office of Valery Nechay, we provide experienced defense for those accused of embezzlement. We understand the intricacies of such cases and how overwhelming the process can be. But why choose us? Our track record speaks volumes, demonstrating our commitment to upholding our clients’ rights.

What Is Embezzlement?

Embezzlement represents a critical offense, where assets are illegally redirected for personal enrichment. The stakes are high; reputations and resources hang in the balance. The California Penal Code in Section 503 defines embezzlement as the fraudulent appropriation of property by the person to whom it is entrusted.

At its core, embezzlement involves the intentional misappropriation or theft of funds placed in one’s trust or belonging to one’s employer. A broad array of actions fall within its scope, from minor cash thefts to large-scale financial frauds. Breaches occur when funds are attained legally but utilized deceitfully for personal gain, diverging from their intended purpose.

Common manifestations of embezzlement include:

  • Unauthorized transfers of money
  • Falsification of records to conceal theft
  • Siphoning company finances through fraudulent invoicing
  • Public officers converting public funds for personal use

Is Embezzlement a Felony or Misdemeanor?

Embezzlement’s classification as either a felony or misdemeanor hinges on multiple factors, including the value of the stolen assets and the circumstances of the crime. It could also be affected by whether the accused has a previous embezzlement or other theft-related conviction. Section 514 of the Penal Code states that any embezzlement of public funds, either federal, state, or municipality, will result in a felony charge. Meanwhile, Section 515 states that upon conviction for felony embezzlement, it will be an aggravating factor that the victim of the crime was an elderly person or a dependent person.

Section 514 also states that embezzlement is punishable in the same manner in which the theft of the said property would be punished. Meanwhile, Section 490.2 states that theft of property that is less than $950 in value would be charged as a misdemeanor except in cases where the accused has been previously convicted for certain specified crimes. By virtue of Section 514, this would apply in embezzlement cases as well. However, since most embezzlement cases often involve significant sums of money, they are most likely to be charged as felonies.

The Consequences of Misdemeanor and Felony Embezzlement Charges

The ramifications of embezzlement are severe, spanning legal penalties to impairments in personal and professional realms. Misdemeanor charges might result in fines or short-term imprisonment, while felonies generally carry stiffer punishments, potentially leading to years in prison. Beyond the immediate sanctions, embezzlement charges cast long shadows, impacting future employment prospects and social trust.

For example, public officers found guilty of embezzlement in California are not entitled to any office of honor, trust, or profit in the state. Crafting a robust defense strategy is essential to ameliorating these consequences. It is pivotal to precisely navigate the labyrinth of criminal law, emphasizing the importance of skilled legal counsel to confront allegations of embezzlement.

Possible Defenses to an Embezzlement Charge

Maneuvering through the intricate maze of embezzlement defenses requires a nose for the finer details and the help of a brilliant criminal defense attorney. Some defenses that may be available to you include the following.

Lack of Intent

A lack of intent is one of the primary fences we build around our clients in an embezzlement case. Embezzlement charges pivot around the intent to deprive another of their property permanently and unlawfully. Without this deliberate intent, the foundation of the charges could weaken and potentially crumble.


Another strong defense is duress, in which an individual argues that they were forced into the embezzlement against their will; compelling evidence is typically required to back this claim. An individual could have been induced by law enforcement or some other people to commit a crime they were not predisposed to commit. When someone commits embezzlement under direct threat to their safety or life, it is typically a complete defense if successfully proven.

Insufficient Evidence

The prosecution holds the burden to prove each element of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.


An incapacity defense, though rare, states that the defendant was incapable of forming the intent to embezzle due to a mental defect or illness.

Good Faith Belief

As outlined in California’s Penal Code Section 511, it is a valid defense if the appropriation was made openly and under a claim of title made in good faith. However, if the person refuses to return the property upon realizing their mistaken belief that they have title over it, the defense will not hold.

While these defenses might offer a glimpse of hope, skilled legal guidance by a criminal defense lawyer is imperative. Our approach is to weave through the complexities of each case, crafting a shield out of viable defenses and providing thorough and competent representation for those accused of embezzlement, giving them the best possible chance to clear their name.

A strategic approach by our firm may include:

  • Assessing the Evidence: We analyze the prosecution’s evidence for inaccuracies.
  • Uncovering Mitigating Factors: Identifying any circumstances that could reduce culpability.
  • Negotiating Plea Deals: Exploring opportunities to mitigate charges and penalties when appropriate.

Note: The above is a general guideline, and each case demands a unique strategy.

How The Law Office of Valery Nechay Can Help

When accused of embezzlement, securing skilled legal representation could make the difference between acquittal and severe consequences, such as imprisonment. We have a steadfast commitment to defending individuals accused of crimes, whether under California state law or federal law.

Our approach is meticulous and personalized. We understand that each case of alleged misappropriation of funds is unique. We assess the evidence within the context of a fiduciary relationship and work tirelessly to craft a defense strategy tailored specifically to your circumstance.

Our criminal defense skills extend to negotiating with the prosecution, aiming to reduce or dismiss charges. Our priority is your freedom and reputation, and we strive to ensure that our clients receive a defense that thoroughly represents their interests and mitigates potential penalties.

Contact The Law Office of Valery Nechay

Facing embezzlement charges can be daunting. In such a critical time, professional legal representation is essential. Remember, the complexities of criminal defense necessitate the adeptness only a seasoned legal team can provide.

We invite you to contact The Law Office of Valery Nechay if you’re in need of passionate advocates to fight embezzlement charges. Our goal is to ensure that your case is handled with the utmost professionalism and dedicated care. We are prepared to provide the necessary resources and guidance as you navigate these charges, aiming for the best possible resolution.


If you are under investigation or charged with a crime, I will consult with you in person and at no charge to you.