Theft by Embezzlement

Orange County embezzlement attorney

Theft by embezzlement is a common theft crime that is charged in California.  The information below describes what the prosecutor must prove and the instructions that the jury reads to render a verdict for embezzlement.



The defendant is charged 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 entrusted (his/her) property to the defendant;
  2. The owner 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).


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.


[A good faith belief in acting with authorization to use the property is a defense.]


[In deciding whether the defendant believed that (he/she) had a right to the property and whether (he/she) held that belief in good faith, consider all the facts known to (him/her) at the time (he/she) obtained the property, along with all the other evidence in the case. The defendant may hold a belief in good faith even if the belief is mistaken or unreasonable. But if the defendant was aware of facts that made that belief completely unreasonable, you may conclude that the belief was not held in good faith.]


[An intent to deprive the owner of property, even temporarily, is enough.]


[Intent to restore the property to its owner is not a defense.]


[An agent is someone to whom the owner has given complete or partial authority and control over the owner’s property.]


[For petty theft, the property taken can be of any value, no matter how slight.]


If you’re facing embezzlement charges, it is important that you consult with an Orange County embezzlement attorney.  Call the Law Offices of Nam Q. Doan | OC Legal Defense today at (714)248-DOAN(3626).  I can represent you to get your case dismissed.