California Embezzlement Laws
Penal Code 503 PC

The crime of embezzlement in California is defined as fraudulently appropriating property that

  1. belongs to someone else, and
  2. has been entrusted to you.1

The term “embezzlement” may make you think of a complicated “white-collar crime” involving large sums of money, committed by high-powered financiers or executives.

But, in fact, embezzlement charges in California, under Penal Code 503, are filed against all sorts of people, in all sorts of jobs and relationships, and can involve very small sums of money or other property.

It is important to realize that you can be charged with—and convicted of—embezzlement even if you didn't intend to keep the property in question and were only borrowing it temporarily.2

Examples

Examples of California embezzlement could include all of the following:

  • An employee at a valet parking lot in an airport lends one of the parked cars to his son, who needs transportation for a job interview, and returns it after the interview.
  • A home healthcare worker who cares for an elderly woman is asked by her employer to take several hundred dollars in cash to the bank and deposit it. Instead, she keeps the money for herself.
  • The treasurer of a non-profit organization pulls several thousand dollars out of the organization's bank account and uses it to pay off his gambling debts.
Embezzlement_briefcase

Penalties

Embezzlement in California is punished as a form of California grand theft or California petty theft, depending on the value and type property that is stolen or borrowed.3

If the property is either

  1. worth more than nine hundred fifty dollars ($950),
  2. an automobile, or
  3. a firearm,

then California embezzlement is a form of grand theft4—and is a wobbler in California law.5

This means that it may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case.6 Misdemeanor grand theft embezzlement can lead to up to one (1) year in county jail, while felony grand theft embezzlement can land you in jail for up to three (3) years.7

With property worth less than $950, embezzlement is a form of petty theft—a misdemeanor punishable by up to six (6) months in county jail.8

Legal defenses

Embezzlement charges can be confusing and frightening. An experienced California criminal defense attorney can help you understand your rights in the California criminal pretrial process and the best ways to defend yourself.

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Some common legal defenses to Penal Code 503 PC embezzlement include:

  • You believed in good faith that you had had a right to the property;9
  • You lacked criminal intent; and
  • You were falsely accused.

In order to help you better understand the California crime of embezzlement, our California criminal defense attorneys will address the following:

1. The Legal Definition of California Embezzlement, PC 503

2. Penalties for Penal Code 503 Embezzlement

2.1. Grand theft embezzlement penalties
2.2. Petty theft embezzlement penalties
2.3. Aggravating and mitigating factors

3. Legal Defenses to California Embezzlement Charges

4. California Embezzlement and Related Offenses

4.1. Penal Code 470 forgery
4.2. Penal Code 459 burglary
4.3. California fraud crimes

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

You may also find helpful information in our related articles on California “White-Collar Crimes”; California Grand Theft Law Penal Code 487 PC; California Petty Theft Laws Penal Code 484 & 488 PC; Legal Definition of a Wobbler in California Law; Legal Definition of a Misdemeanor in California Law; Legal Definition of a Felony in California Law; The California Criminal Pretrial Process; Common Legal Defenses to California Criminal Charges; California Theft Crimes; California Grand Theft Auto Law Penal Code 487(d)(1) PC & Vehicle Code 10851 VC; Penal Code 487(d)(2) PC Grand Theft Firearm; Misdemeanor (Summary) Probation in California; Felony (Formal) Probation in California; California Penal Code 368 Elder Abuse; Penal Code 470 California's Forgery Law; Burglary in California Law Penal Code 459; and Criminal Fraud in California.

1. The Legal Definition of California Embezzlement, PC 503

The legal definition of embezzlement in California revolves around several “elements of the crime.” These are facts that the prosecutor must prove in order for you to be guilty of this offense.

The elements of the crime of California embezzlement are as follows:

  1. An owner of property entrusted their property to you (directly or through an agent);
  2. The owner did so because s/he trusted you;
  3. You then fraudulently converted or used that property for your own benefit; and
  4. When you did so, you intended to deprive the owner of the property or its use.10

Let's take a better look at some of these elements in order to better understand their meaning.

Relationship of trust

Embezzlement charges will only stick if an owner of property entrusted the property to you, because s/he trusted you.11 This might happen because

  • You were the owner's employee,
  • You were the “bailee” of the owner's property—that is, someone given temporary possession of their property (such as a mechanic or a valet given temporary possession of a car),12 or
  • You were a trustee, board member, or principal of an organization with the right to manage its money or property.

Example: Angela is the office manager for a small plumbing company. Every Friday, she takes all the payments the company has received in cash to the bank and deposits them.

Angela is going through a divorce and having trouble paying her bills. For several months, she takes a couple hundred dollars in cash out of the amount she is supposed to deposit and keeps it for herself.

Angela was in a relationship of trust with the company's owner—and is guilty of embezzlement for her actions.

Embezzlement_calculator

But just working for an employer is not enough to create a presumption that there was a relationship of trust. This element of the crime of embezzlement can only be proved if there was some concrete evidence of trust or confidence between the employer and the employee.13

Example: Terry works for the same plumbing company as Angela, but as a part-time janitor for their offices. He does not have keys to the safe or the office.

One day, he is left alone in the office, and the safe is accidentally left open. Terry steals several hundred dollars in cash.

This is ordinary California theft—but it is probably not embezzlement, because there was no relationship of trust between Terry and the company.

Fraudulently taking or using the property

California embezzlement only occurs if the defendant fraudulently converts or uses the property, for his or her own benefit.14

You act fraudulently when you either

  • take undue advantage of another person, or
  • cause a loss to that person by breaching a duty, trust or confidence.15
Img-piles_of_money

In other words, you are not guilty of Penal Code 503 embezzlement unless you used the property in a way that causes loss to its owner and brings you some sort of benefit.

Example: Sally is the housekeeper for a busy wealthy family. Ellen, the wife of the family, regularly gives Sally hundreds of dollars in cash to buy groceries.

One week Ellen leaves the normal money for Sally with instructions to buy groceries, and goes to the country club to swim. Sally knows that Ellen has forgotten that today is her husband Mark's birthday. She is unable to reach Ellen on her cell phone while she is in the pool.

So, instead of buying groceries with the money, Sally uses it to buy presents for Mark.

Ellen took money that had been entrusted to her and used it in an unauthorized way. But because she thought she was doing it for Ellen's benefit, she is probably not guilty of embezzlement.

Intent to deprive the owner of its use

You only commit embezzlement if you intend to deprive the property owner of the property or its use.16

But you do not need to intend to deprive them of the property permanently—even a temporary deprivation will do. And the fact that you intend to return the property or repay the money at some point is not a valid defense.17

Example: Lou works at a car dealership in a position that involves handling large sums of money. He hates working with his colleague Ian because Ian always screws up the paperwork. But the owners refuse to fire Ian.

One day, Ian handles a car sale that involves a large amount of cash. After Ian deposits the cash in the dealership's safe, Lou takes that cash and hides it. He doesn't intend to keep the cash—but he is hoping that Ian will be fired when the owner discovers it is missing.

Lou is guilty of embezzlement in California even though he didn't intend to keep the money permanently.18

2. Penalties for Penal Code 503 Embezzlement

The penalties for Penal Code 503 PC embezzlement depend on the type and value of the property you are alleged to have embezzled.19

Embezzlement_keyboard
2.1. Grand theft embezzlement penalties

You will face the penalties for the crime of California grand theft, Penal Code 487 PC, if the property you are alleged to have embezzled is either:

  1. Worth more than nine hundred fifty dollars ($950),
  2. An automobile (in which case embezzlement becomes a form of grand theft auto), or
  3. A firearm (in which case embezzlement becomes a form of grand theft firearm).20

Also, if you embezzle several sums smaller than $950 from an employer or person for whom you are acting as agent—but those sums add up to $950 or more in any 12-month period—you will be charged with grand theft embezzlement.21

Grand theft embezzlement in most cases is a wobbler. This means that it may be charged as either a misdemeanor OR a felony, depending on

  • the circumstances of the case, and
  • the defendant's criminal history.22

But grand theft embezzlement always carries felony penalties if the property embezzled is a firearm.23

Misdemeanor grand theft embezzlement carries the following penalties:

Embezzlement_cuffedhands_money

Felony grand theft embezzlement (including all cases of embezzlement of firearms) carries the following penalties:

  • Felony (formal) probation ;
  • Sixteen (16) months, two (2) years or three (3) years in prison; and/or
  • A fine of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000).25

Not only that—but you face an additional and consecutive sentence if you are convicted of felony embezzlement, and the victim suffers a loss of a particularly high monetary value.

The potential sentence enhancements for felony embezzlement of high-value property are:

  • One (1) year if the property was worth more than sixty-five thousand dollars ($65,000),
  • Two (2) years if the property was worth more than two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000),
  • Three (3) years if the property was worth more than one million three hundred thousand dollars ($1,300,000), and
  • Four (4) years if the property was worth more than three million two hundred thousand dollars ($3,200,000).26
2.2. Petty theft embezzlement penalties

Any embezzlement that does not meet the definition of California grand theft is considered a form of—and punished as—California petty theft, Penal Code 488 PC.27

Petty theft is a misdemeanor in California law. The potential penalties for petty theft are:

  • Misdemeanor probation;
  • Up to six (6) months in county jail; and/or
  • A fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).28
2.3. Aggravating and mitigating factors

In determining your sentence for felony (grand-theft) embezzlement, the judge is likely to give you a tougher sentence if your victim was elderly or a dependent person (that is, someone with a mental or physical impairment that affects their daily functioning).29 This is what is known as an “aggravating factor” in embezzlement sentencing.

Cuffs_gavel

(In this case, you may also find yourself facing charges, and an additional sentence, for California Penal Code 368 elder abuse.)

On the flip side, the judge may impose a less stringent punishment if you voluntarily return the property you are supposed to have embezzled—but only if you do this before you are charged with Penal Code 503 embezzlement.30

But, as we noted above, this does not mean that you can escape a conviction altogether.31

Example: Alfonso is the bookkeeper for a small manufacturing company. One month, when he is facing unexpected home repair expenses and having trouble paying his bills, he takes $500 from the company account without authorization from his boss.

Six months later, Alfonso pays back the $500 “loan” he gave himself from his employer. But when he does so, his boss notices the suspicious transactions—and Alfonso is charged with California embezzlement.

The fact that Alfonso returned the money voluntarily does not shield him from a conviction for petty theft embezzlement. However, the judge takes it into account as a “mitigating factor”—and decides to sentence Alfonso to probation rather than jail time.

3. Legal Defenses to California Embezzlement Charges

Embezzlement charges can be devastating for your professional and personal life. Your best move is to contact a California theft crimes defense lawyer as soon as possible.

S/he can help you mount the best defense to get the charges reduced or dismissed—or to get you acquitted, or your sentence minimized, if your case goes to trial.

Possible legal defenses to a PC 503 charge include:

You believed in good faith that you had a right to the property

Under California embezzlement law, you are not guilty if you believed—in good faith—that you had a right to the property you took.32

Jury_box

For this defense to apply, the following must be true:

  1. You took possession of the property openly (i.e., didn't conceal what you were doing), and
  2. You didn't take the property because the owner owed you a debt.33

Example: Joanne's elderly mother Rachel has just died, naming Joanne administrator of her estate. Rachel went through several drafts of her will before she died, and there is some confusion as to which is the valid one.

One of the drafts of the will left all of Rachel's jewelry to Joanne. So Joanne takes the jewelry from her mother's house and uses it for herself; she also gives some of it to her own daughter.

But it turns out that the last will Rachel wrote did not leave all her jewelry to Joanne. Rachel's other heirs get upset and accuse Joanne of embezzling the jewelry from the estate.

Joanne will probably be able to defend herself against embezzlement charges, on the grounds that she believed in good faith that she was entitled to the jewelry.

You lacked criminal intent

A California embezzlement conviction requires the prosecutor to prove that you intended to deprive the owner of his/her property or its use (even temporarily).34

According to Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney Neil Shouse35:

“Criminal intent can be very difficult to prove. And many embezzlement cases involve complicated paper trails and financial details. It is very possible that what looks like an act of embezzlement was really just a mistake on the part of the defendant.”

You were falsely accused

Far too many people are falsely accused of California crimes—and embezzlement is no exception.

In fact, false accusations are especially common in embezzlement cases—because the “victim” is almost always someone who had a preexisting business or personal relationship with the defendant.

The so-called “victim” may just have an ax to grind or a desire for revenge over a business arrangement gone wrong. Or s/he may want to blame someone else for his/her own financial losses.

In this situation, gathering the right evidence and talking to the right people is key. A good criminal defense lawyer, with the help of trained investigators, can help ensure that the true story emerges.

4. California Embezzlement and Related Offenses

There are several other California offenses that are frequently charged along with Penal Code 503 embezzlement. These include:

4.1. Penal Code 470 forgery

Penal Code 470, California's forgery law , makes it a crime to knowingly alter, create, or use a written document, intending to commit a fraud.36

Embezzlement_forgery

You could be charged with both California forgery and California embezzlement if, for example, you are accused of signing your boss's name to a check made out to “cash” and then cashing it.

PC 470 forgery is a wobbler. Misdemeanor penalties include up to one (1) year in county jail, and felony penalties include sixteen (16) months, two (2) years or three (3) years in prison.37

4.2. Penal Code 459 burglary

Burglary in California law is defined as entering any structure with the intent to commit theft or any felony once inside.38

So, for example, if you entered the office or private home where you worked with the intention of embezzling funds once inside, you could be charged with both embezzlement and burglary.

Under Penal Code 459 PC, burglary is a wobbler if you enter a structure that is not inhabited (“second-degree burglary”) and a felony if you enter a structure that is inhabited (“first-degree burglary”).39

4.3. California fraud crimes

Generally speaking, you commit criminal fraud in California when you commit an act that results in an unfair or undeserved benefit for yourself, and/or causes harm or loss to another person.

Certain forms of fraud could be prosecuted as embezzlement in California. Others are prosecuted under specific laws covering, for example,

  • insurance fraud,
  • real estate fraud,
  • check fraud, and
  • mail fraud.

Embezzlement charges AND fraud charges could be filed together in complicated cases.

Call us for help…

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For questions about the crime of embezzlement in California, or to discuss your case confidentially with one of our California criminal defense attorneys, do not hesitate to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

We have local criminal law offices in and around Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.

For more information on Nevada embezzlement laws, please see our page on Nevada embezzlement laws.

Legal References:


1 Penal Code 503 PC – Definition [of embezzlement]. (“Embezzlement is the fraudulent appropriation of property by a person to whom it has been intrusted.”)

2 Penal Code 513 PC – Defenses [to embezzlement charges]; mitigation of punishment; restoration of property or tender before indictment or information. (“Whenever, prior to an information laid before a magistrate, or an indictment found by a grand jury, charging the commission of embezzlement, the person accused voluntarily and actually restores or tenders restoration of the property alleged to have been embezzled, or any part thereof, such fact is not a ground of defense, but it authorizes the court to mitigate punishment, in its discretion.”

See also Penal Code 512 PC – Defenses [to embezzlement charges]; mitigation of punishment; intent to restore property; time. (“The fact that the accused intended to restore the property embezzled, is no ground of defense or mitigation of punishment, if it has not been restored before an information has been laid before a magistrate, or an indictment found by a grand jury, charging the commission of the offense.”)

3 Penal Code 514 PC – Punishment [for embezzlement]; determination of value; defalcation of public funds; disenfranchisement. (“Every person guilty of embezzlement is punishable in the manner prescribed for theft of property of the value or kind embezzled; and where the property embezzled is an evidence of debt or right of action, the sum due upon it or secured to be paid by it must be taken as its value; if the embezzlement or defalcation is of the public funds of the United States, or of this state, or of any county or municipality within this state, the offense is a felony, and is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison; and the person so convicted is ineligible thereafter to any office of honor, trust, or profit in this state.”)

4 Penal Code 487 PC – “Grand theft” [including theft through embezzlement] defined. (“Grand theft is theft committed in any of the following cases: (a) When the money, labor, or real or personal property taken is of a value exceeding nine hundred fifty dollars ($950), except as provided in subdivision (b). (b) . . . (3) Where the money, labor, or real or personal property is taken by a servant, agent, or employee from his or her principal or employer and aggregates nine hundred fifty dollars ($950) or more in any 12 consecutive month period. (c) When the property is taken from the person of another. (d) When the property taken is any of the following: (1) An automobile. (2) A firearm.”)

5 Penal Code 489 PC – Grand theft [including theft through embezzlement]; punishment. (“Grand theft is punishable as follows: (a) If the grand theft involves the theft of a firearm, by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years. . . . (c) In all other cases, by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year or pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.”)

6 See same.

7 See same.

See also Penal Code 1170(h) PC. (“(h)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), a felony punishable pursuant to this subdivision where the term is not specified in the underlying offense [including California embezzlement] shall be punishable by a term of imprisonment in a county jail for 16 months, or two or three years.”)

8 Penal Code 490 PC – Petty theft [including embezzlement]; punishment. (“Petty theft is punishable by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or both.”)

9 Penal Code 511 PC – Defenses [to embezzlement charges]; claim of title; unlawful retention of property to offset or pay demands not excused. (“Upon any indictment for embezzlement, it is a sufficient defense that the property was appropriated openly and avowedly, and under a claim of title preferred in good faith, even though such claim is untenable. But this provision does not excuse the unlawful retention of the property of another to offset or pay demands held against him.”)

10 Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions (“CALCRIM”) 1806 – Theft by Embezzlement (Pen. Code, §§ 484, 503) (“The defendant is charged [in Count ] with [grand/petty] theft by embezzlement [in violation of Penal Code section 503]. To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1 An owner [or the owner's agent] entrusted (his/her) property to the defendant; 2 The owner [or owner's agent] did so because (he/she) trusted the defendant; 3 The defendant fraudulently (converted/used) that property for (his/her) own benefit; AND 4 When the defendant (converted/used) the property, (he/she) intended to deprive the owner of (it/its use).”)

11 See same.

12 Penal Code 507 PC – Bailee; tenant; lodger; attorney in fact. (“Every person intrusted with any property as bailee, tenant, or lodger, or with any power of attorney for the sale or transfer thereof, who fraudulently converts the same or the proceeds thereof to his own use, or secretes it or them with a fraudulent intent to convert to his own use, is guilty of embezzlement.”)

See also Black's Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009), bailee. (“A person who receives personal property from another, and has possession of but not title to the property.”)

13 CALCRIM 1806 – Theft by Embezzlement (Pen. Code, §§ 484, 503). Related Issues. (“Fiduciary Relationships. Courts have held that creditor/debtor and employer/employee relationships are not presumed to be fiduciary relationships in the absence of other evidence of trust or confidence. (People v. Wooten (1996) 44 Cal.App.4th 1834, 1846 [52 Cal.Rptr.2d 765][creditor/debtor]; People v. Threestar (1985) 167 Cal.App.3d 747, 759 [213 Cal.Rptr. 510] [employer/employee].)”)

14 CALCRIM 1806 – Theft by Embezzlement (Pen. Code, §§ 484, 503), endnote 10, above.

15 CALCRIM 1806 – Theft by Embezzlement (Pen. Code, §§ 484, 503). (“A person acts fraudulently when he or she takes undue advantage of another person or causes a loss to that person by breaching a duty, trust or confidence.”)

16 CALCRIM 1806 – Theft by Embezzlement (Pen. Code, §§ 484, 503), endnote 10, above.

17 CALCRIM 1806 – Theft by Embezzlement (Pen. Code, §§ 484, 503). (“[An intent to deprive the owner of property, even temporarily, is enough.] [Intent to restore the property to its owner is not a defense.]”)

18 Based on the facts of People v. Sisuphan (2010) 181 Cal.App.4th 800.

19 Penal Code 514 PC – Punishment [for embezzlement]; determination of value; defalcation of public funds; disenfranchisement, endnote 3, above.

20 Penal Code 487 PC – “Grand theft” [including theft through embezzlement] defined, endnote 4, above.

21 See same.

22 Penal Code 489 PC – Grand theft [including theft through embezzlement]; punishment, endnote 5, above.

23 See same.

24 See same.

See also Penal Code 672 PC -- Offenses for which no fine prescribed; fine authorized in addition to imprisonment. ("Upon a conviction for any crime punishable by imprisonment in any jail or prison, in relation to which no fine is herein prescribed, the court may impose a fine on the offender not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) in cases of misdemeanors [including misdemeanor grand theft embezzlement] or ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in cases of felonies [including felony grand theft embezzlement], in addition to the imprisonment prescribed.")

25 See same.

See also Penal Code 1170(h) PC, endnote 7, above.

26 Penal Code 12022.6 PC. (“(a) When any person takes, damages, or destroys any property in the commission or attempted commission of a felony [including felony embezzlement], with the intent to cause that taking, damage, or destruction, the court shall impose an additional term as follows: (1) If the loss exceeds sixty-five thousand dollars ($65,000), the court, in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed for the felony or attempted felony of which the defendant has been convicted, shall impose an additional term of one year. (2) If the loss exceeds two hundred thousand dollars ($200,000), the court, in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed for the felony or attempted felony of which the defendant has been convicted, shall impose an additional term of two years. (3) If the loss exceeds one million three hundred thousand dollars ($1,300,000), the court, in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed for the felony or attempted felony of which the defendant has been convicted, shall impose an additional term of three years. (4) If the loss exceeds three million two hundred thousand dollars ($3,200,000), the court, in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed for the felony or attempted felony of which the defendant has been convicted, shall impose an additional term of four years.”)

27 Penal Code 488 PC – Petty theft [including petty theft embezzlement] defined. (“Theft in other cases is petty theft.”)

28 Penal Code 490 PC – Petty theft [including embezzlement]; punishment, endnote 8, above.

29 Penal Code 515 PC – Felony convictions [of embezzlement]; aggravating circumstances; elder or dependent person victims. (“Upon conviction of a felony violation under this chapter, the fact that the victim was an elder or dependent person, as defined in Section 288, shall be considered a circumstance in aggravation when imposing a term under subdivision (b) of Section 1170.”)

30 Penal Code 513 PC – Defenses [to embezzlement charges]; mitigation of punishment; restoration of property or tender before indictment or information. (“Whenever, prior to an information laid before a magistrate, or an indictment found by a grand jury, charging the commission of embezzlement, the person accused voluntarily and actually restores or tenders restoration of the property alleged to have been embezzled, or any part thereof, such fact is not a ground of defense, but it authorizes the court to mitigate punishment, in its discretion.”)

31 See same.

32 Penal Code 511 PC – Defenses [to embezzlement charges]; claim of title; unlawful retention of property to offset or pay demands not excused, endnote 9, above.

33 See same.

34 CALCRIM 1806 – Theft by Embezzlement (Pen. Code, §§ 484, 503), endnote 10, above.

35 Santa Barbara criminal defense attorney Neil Shouse is an honors graduate of UC-Berkeley and Harvard Law School. He served for five years as a Deputy DA for Los Angeles County, prosecuting more than 60 criminal trials and earning a phenomenal 96% success rate in felony jury trials. Now, as the founding partner of Shouse Law Group, he represents criminal defendants accused of a wide-range of high-stakes crimes, from DUI to embezzlement to kidnapping and murder.

36 Penal Code 470 PC - Forgery; Signatures or Seals; Corruption of Records [may be charged along with PC 503 embezzlement]. ("(a) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, knowing that he or she has no authority to do so, signs the name of another person or of a fictitious person to any of the items listed in subdivision (d) is guilty of forgery. (b) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, counterfeits or forges the seal or handwriting of another is guilty of forgery. (c) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, alters, corrupts, or falsifies any record of any will, codicil, conveyance, or other instrument, the record of which is by law evidence, or any record of any judgment of a court or the return of any officer to any process of any court, is guilty of forgery. (d) Every person who, with the intent to defraud, falsely makes, alters, forges, or counterfeits, utters, publishes, passes or attempts or offers to pass, as true and genuine, any of the following items, knowing the same to be false, altered, forged, or counterfeited, is guilty of forgery: any check, bond, bank bill, or note, cashier's check, traveler's check, money order, post note, draft, any controller's warrant for the payment of money at the treasury, county order or warrant, or request for the payment of money, receipt for money or goods, bill of exchange, promissory note, order, or any assignment of any bond, writing obligatory, or other contract for money or other property, contract, due bill for payment of money or property, receipt for money or property, passage ticket, lottery ticket or share purporting to be issued under the California State Lottery Act of 1984, trading stamp, power of attorney, certificate of ownership or other document evidencing ownership of a vehicle or undocumented vessel, or any certificate of any share, right, or interest in the stock of any corporation or association, or the delivery of goods or chattels of any kind, or for the delivery of any instrument of writing, or acquittance, release or discharge of any debt, account, suit, action, demand, or any other thing, real or personal, or any transfer or assurance of money, certificate of shares of stock, goods, chattels, or other property whatever, or any letter of attorney, or other power to receive money, or to receive or transfer certificates of shares of stock or annuities, or to let, lease, dispose of, alien, or convey any goods, chattels, lands, or tenements, or other estate, real or personal, or falsifies the acknowledgment of any notary public, or any notary public who issues an acknowledgment knowing it to be false; or any matter described in subdivision (b).")

37 Penal Code 473 PC – Forgery [may be charged along with California embezzlement]; punishment. ("Forgery is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.")

38 Penal Code 459 PC – Definition [of burglary; may be charged along with embezzlement]. (“Every person who enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent, vessel, as defined in Section 21 of the Harbors and Navigation Code, floating home, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 18075.55 of the Health and Safety Code, railroad car, locked or sealed cargo container, whether or not mounted on a vehicle, trailer coach, as defined in Section 635 of the Vehicle Code, any house car, as defined in Section 362 of the Vehicle Code, inhabited camper, as defined in Section 243 of the Vehicle Code, vehicle as defined by the Vehicle Code, when the doors are locked, aircraft as defined by Section 21012 of the Public Utilities Code, or mine or any underground portion thereof, with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony [including embezzlement] is guilty of burglary.”)

39 See Penal Code 460 PC – Degrees [of burglary]; Penal Code 461 PC – Punishment [for burglary] [may be in addition to penalties for embezzlement].

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