Can I be charged with grand theft for stealing for an employee? 7 Answers as of August 06, 2011

In California, can you be charged with grand theft (tens of thousands) when you committed employee stealing...i.e. embezzlement...by forging time cards? I ask because it's been 3.5 years and, for embezzlement, there is a 3 year statute. For grand theft, it's 4 years. The crime was penal code 503, yet the charges are 487a. Is it up to the DA's discretion which crime code to use in this case?

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
The statute of limitations can be extended to start from the time the theft is discovered so you may not be out of hot water yet. The DA can charge embezzlement under all of those sections. It really does not make a big difference as the penalties are the same though some sections may require slightly different proof. If I were you I would retain an attorney immediately to see if something can be done to avoid your being prosecuted.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/6/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
CAN they charge you? Of course. They may think they can convict you. The prosecutor always gets to choose what charges to bring, based upon the facts. If the statute of limitations bars some, hell bring any others that are not barred that he thinks he can prove and convict you on. Youll learn the actual charge[s] filed against you when you appear for arraignment at your first court hearing. The prosecutor can amend at any time he feels he can prove additional or different charges. The charges determine how much time would be imposed if convicted. What can you do? When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, and can you be convicted, and what can you do? A little free advice: exercise the 5th Amendment right to SHUT UP and do NOT talk to anyone about the case except an attorney. That includes on this or any other web site or public forum. Raise all possible defenses with whatever admissible and credible witnesses, evidence, facts and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or at trial. You can hire an attorney, unless you know how to effectively represent yourself in court against a professional prosecutor intending to convict. The attorney will try to get a dismissal, diversion, reduction, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Ill be happy to help use whatever defenses there may be.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/5/2011
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
The statute of limitations runs from the time of discovery of the fraud and is limited by when a reasonable person exercising due care and prudence would have discovered the fraud.theft. DA selects charges. Selection may be limited under certain circumstances where you have a specific charge and a general one. See an attorney.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/5/2011
The Chastaine Law Office
The Chastaine Law Office | Michael Chastaine
Yes you can be charged up until the statute of limitations runs. Note that in fraud cases, the statute starts when the fraud is discovered, not necessarily the date it occurred.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/5/2011
Law Office of Jeff Yeh
Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
Yes it is the DA's discretion, and yes you can be charged with grand theft. The "method" of theft is not relevant.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/5/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    The DA has discretion in how to charge a case. If there exists sufficient facts to support the elements of grand theft, then that can be charged.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
    Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
    YES. If the DA believes they can convict you of grand theft and that has a longer statute of limitations and the embezzlement statute has expired then he will try to do so. This is very serious and you need to immediately contact a criminal defense law firm who can help you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2011
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