If your job duties require you to handle someone else’s money, you probably take steps to ensure funds stay where they should. Unfortunately, a drug addiction may cause you to take money that does not belong to you. After receiving treatment for your addiction, you may wonder about your legal exposure for embezzlement.
Embezzlement is basically theft of funds by an employee. Under Texas law, the offense is a serious one, as it often involves abusing an employer’s trust for personal gain. Upon conviction, you can expect to face some serious consequences for embezzling funds.
Penalties for embezzlement in Texas
The penalties you are likely to encounter following a conviction for embezzlement may depend on the value of your employer’s loss. That is, penalties tend to increase as the value of misappropriated funds increases.
For example, if you embezzle under $1,500, you may only commit a misdemeanor that is punishable by a $4,000 fine and up to a year in jail. If you misappropriate more than $200,000, by contrast, you may have to spend up to 99 years behind bars for a felony conviction.
Possible sentencing enhancements
Texas law considers some types of embezzlement to be more harmful than others. If any of the following situations apply to you, you may face harsher consequences upon conviction for embezzlement:
- You work for the government.
- You take funds from a non-profit organization.
- You take funds from someone over the age of 65.
Whether you receive a sentencing enhancement ultimately rests on both the facts of your case and any mitigating factors you have. Therefore, to avoid the potentially extreme penalties that often accompany a conviction, you probably want to explore all possible defenses to embezzlement charges.