White collar crimes may not seem as serious as other criminal offenses; however, these crimes can carry significant penalties. State laws treat embezzlement differently, and in Ohio, the laws surrounding the penalties for embezzlement are within the laws about theft. Generally, a number of factors can affect the charges that one is facing and the penalties associated with it, including the type of property stolen and from whom it was stolen, as some victims can belong to a protected category, such as the elderly or disabled. Additionally, the value of the assets stolen and the person being accused’s criminal history is also considered when these decisions are being made.
If less than $1,000 was stolen, then the crime is treated as a misdemeanor punishable by 180 days in jail and a fine up to $1,000. If the amount is between $1000 and $7500, then it is a fifth degree felony and can be punishable with imprisonment between six months and a year and a fine up to $2000. If the amount stolen is between $7500 and $150000, a fourth degree felony can result in fines up to $5000 and prison time could be between six months and 18 months.
If the amount stolen is between $150000 and $750000, then it will be treated as a third degree felony and the fine could be up to $10,000 and imprisonment would be at least nine months and up to 36 months. As mentioned previously, if the theft has been from a person belonging to a protected category, then it will be counted as a felony in the fifth degree but the charges would change depending on the value of the property.
Felonies stay on the defendant’s record, which means what may seem like only six months in jail could end up potentially ruining the rest of the person’s life. Employment options become limited, as do housing options and in some instances, child custody might also be affected. This is why people facing charges relating to embezzlement might want to consider consulting an experienced attorney to discuss their options.