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Defining Loss in DC Federal Embezzlement Cases

When defining loss in DC federal embezzlement cases, attorneys often look at the numerous aspects that go into what makes a case damaging to its alleged victims. They do this because there could be information that could be used to defend against allegations of embezzlement. To increase your chances of a favorable courtroom outcome, contact an attorney.

What Constitutes Loss?

One key factor in federal embezzlement cases is the loss amount that reflects the harm done by someone who commits an offense. There are a variety of ways to calculate loss. One is the intended loss. As an example, evidence that someone intended to illegally take one million dollars could be proven by contracts or other documents. The United States sentencing guidelines specifically say that intended loss is preferable as a calculation over actual loss.

Given that the actual loss is usually less than the intended loss, a defense attorney may use the actual figure to argue that the judge should impose a sentence that is less than the guidelines suggest.

How Loss Affects Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Loss is the driving force in determining an advisory guideline range. The United States Sentencing Guidelines are not mandatory. When a court determines the advisory guideline range, loss is a big factor. United States Sentencing Guidelines Section 2B 1.1 deals with loss. A defense attorney must understand the components and issues often raised by loss to best advocate for an alleged offender before a court at sentencing.

Determining the Degree of Impact

Loss is determined in two ways. When it is possible to calculate the intended loss, the guidelines specifically dictate that intended loss is preferable to actual loss. The intended loss could be calculated using circumstantial evidence such as emails, other communications, or documents. Contracts that were executed but not actually fulfilled may be used in the government procurement context to determine the intended loss amount.

The actual loss amount is sometimes easier to calculate because it may be determined by the cash or other assets that were illegally obtained. A defense attorney may focus on the actual loss because it is usually less than the intended loss. For example, a powerful argument could be made to a judge when the intended loss was one million dollars, but the actual loss is only $5,000, and that the judge should take the real loss into account and not sentence someone based on the intended loss.

Minimum Sentencing

There is no mandatory minimum sentence in most embezzlement cases unless, during the course of an embezzlement, there is a charge of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory minimum two-year sentence. Unless that factor arises with respect to identity theft, there is no mandatory minimum sentence to deal with. When calculating the advisory guideline range, a judge makes a determination as to what the law says and rules on other issues, in order to come up with an advisory range. The judge could then go up or down from that range. Since there is usually no mandatory sentence to consider, the judge has free range to go up or down.

Why Contact an Attorney?

It is important to contact a federal embezzlement sentencing lawyer in a federal embezzlement case because a person needs someone with experience in these types of cases. They should have an attorney who knows the system and how to navigate it because that is often as important as understanding the law. The attorney should have knowledge of the prosecutors and judges and be aware of what they look for in an embezzlement case and how they react to specific arguments, so they could build a strong and effective defense for their client.

Let an Attorney Help Defend Against Accusations of Embezzlement

When defining loss in DC federal embezzlement cases, the courts tend to look at two aspects in particular: actual and intended loss. These numbers are rarely the same and could make the difference between a mitigated sentence and time spent in jail. To better your odds of a favorable outcome, reach out to a dedicated federal attorney today.

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