The misappropriation is governed by the Code of Misdemeanors or the Penal Code, depending on the value of the appropriation. In accordance with art. 119 § 1 of the Code of Offenses, if the value of the misappropriated movable property does not exceed PLN 500, the perpetrator of the act is subject to the arrest, restriction of liberty or a fine. If the subject of appropriation is an item with a value exceeding PLN 500 or property law, the perpetrator will be liable under Article 284 of the Penal Code. This crime is punishable by imprisonment of up to 3 years.
The object of the offense can only be a movable item. The subject of the crime of appropriation is both a movable property and property rights.
This is one of the elements that distinguish appropriation from theft, since the subject of theft, apart from movable items, may also be property rights, but only in the area of theft of a computer program or theft of a card entitling to withdraw money from a banking machine (Article 278 of the Penal Code).
The prohibited act consists in the appropriation of a thing or law, i.e. dealing with a thing as the owner, and with property law, just like the rightholder. The factor differentiating appropriation from theft is the lack of an element of the partition. In the theft, the perpetrator unlawfully takes someone else's property. However, upon appropriation, the perpetrator already owned the item or exercised the law legally, undertakes behavior aimed at depriving the owner of the item.
As a rule, both the offense and the crime of embezzlement are prosecuted ex officio, however, if the perpetrator acted to the detriment of the nearest person, the prosecution takes place at the request of the injured party (Article 119 § 3 kw and Article 284 § 4 of the Penal Code).
Misappropriation in case law:
- Judgment of the court of appeal in Warsaw of November 27, 2018. II AKA 355/18
For attributing the crime of appropriation it is necessary to establish that the perpetrator of this act must act for a strictly defined purpose, which is the appropriation of "someone else's" property (property) - with the intention of permanently including the subject of the crime in his property, and not only with the intention of unlawful possession of the thing.
- Judgment of the appellate court in Łódź of November 25, 2015. II AKA 132/15
appropriation within the meaning of the provision of art. 284 § 1 of the Penal Code is only unlawful, with the exception of an authorized person, the ordinance of a movable property or property right held by the perpetrator, by including it in his property and thus increasing his possession or possession of another person, or exercising otherwise their ownership rights, or their intended purpose other than transfer to the owner
- Judgment of the Supreme Court of 24 November 1998. III KKN 154/97
in order to attribute appropriation of property belonging to a matrimonial property community, it is particularly necessary to establish that the perpetrator, arbitrarily taking away and selling movable property belonging to that community, intended to increase his property at the expense of the spouse.
[Legal status as at April 2020]