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The Role of Loss in DC Federal Embezzlement Sentencing

Usually, in criminal cases, when more money is taken, the higher the sentence is going to be. Other factors go into calculating the sentencing, but the loss amount is the most basic level that affects the sentence. Under the federal sentencing guidelines, the amount of loss could add additional offense levels to an advisory sentencing calculation depending on how it is calculated. That could increase the potential advisory sentencing guideline range someone faces.

The role of loss in DC federal embezzlement sentencing is significant. If you are facing charges, reach out to an experienced federal embezzlement sentencing lawyer.

Actual and Intended Loss

Loss is a driving factor in establishing the advisory sentencing guideline range. The loss amounts in the loss calculation are identified in Section 2B1.1 of the federal sentencing guidelines. The guidelines table deals with loss and there are various rules for how loss should be calculated under the guidelines. Loss may be calculated in two ways: intended loss or actual loss. The guidelines specifically state that intended loss should be used when it can be calculated and the amount is higher than the amount for the actual loss.

The defense lawyer calculates both the intended loss and the actual loss. Even if the intended loss is used in the guidelines calculation, it is important for the judge to know what the actual loss is to consider that when deciding whether a lower sentence is more appropriate.

An example of actual loss, the amount based on various items of circumstantial evidence is determined to be one million dollars, but the actual loss is only a hundred thousand. That is a large difference in the potential advisory guidelines range. Section 2B 1.1 shows a drastic difference in the enhancement under the offense level component of the guidelines for the intended loss versus an actual loss of one hundred thousand dollars. Some judges take the guidelines into account more firmly than others. Loss as a concept in federal sentencing is most important and often drives the potential sentences.

When actual loss can be calculated, it is the amount of money or other assets that were taken inappropriately. Intended loss is the amount of money that was intended to be taken or misappropriated. The guidelines specifically state that if it can be calculated, the intended loss should be used and that could result in an inflated sentencing guideline range.

Building a Defense Against the Alleged Loss

A seasoned federal embezzlement attorney compiles mitigating evidence in these types of cases when the defendant is subject to trial and a guilty plea. Mitigating evidence consists of getting testimonials and letters from friends, family, colleagues, and other people from every aspect of the defendant’s life to create a complete picture of the individual to present to a judge to mitigate the potential sentence. The lawyer develops a larger perspective to share with the judge more about their client, why the embezzlement happened, and why it will not happen again.

The judge wants to know why the individual embezzled money and why the person would not do it again. The defense attorney makes sure that the judge understands the defendant is remorseful about what they did. If a judge believes what the defense attorney presents to the court about the defendant, that tends to make a sentence lower than it otherwise would be.

How a Lawyer Could Help

When anyone is charged with this type of offense, they should contact lawyers as early as possible for many reasons. One reason is to make sure that if they are contacted by law enforcement, they do not make any statements to law enforcement without a lawyer present. Speaking to the authorities without a lawyer present could have an adverse impact on what happens if one is a suspect in an embezzlement case. Second, it is crucial to have an investigation conducted in a case as early as possible.

A defendant should have a lawyer who has experience with federal embezzlement and understands the effect the loss amount could have on the outcome of the case and the potential sentence. An experienced federal embezzlement lawyer manages and maximizes the opportunities for the defendant to be successful in the case within the parameters of the facts surrounding the case. Call a knowledgeable lawyer for help with your case and to learn more about the role of loss in DC federal embezzlement sentencing.

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