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Theft Crime: Estimation of Loss

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

When you have been accused of and arrested for embezzlement, you may think you have little hope of beating the charges. However, one way you may be able to do so is by using your legal rights to plead not guilty when it comes to the estimation of loss in an embezzlement case. By doing so, you can work closely with your defense attorney to schedule a loss or restitution hearing, meaning you and your attorney will be able to examine the evidence against you and challenge prosecutors as to the amount of loss they are claiming resulted from your alleged embezzlement.

Your Rights as the Defendant
Contrary to what police and prosecutors may want you to believe, you as the defendant do possess significant rights in these cases. Along with having the loss hearing where you can challenge the amount of loss brought forth by prosecutors, you must also be aware that the DA cannot force you to accept a plea deal, which can play a key role in how your defense attorney plans strategy for your case.

Show Me the Money
Whenever you and your attorney have a loss hearing with prosecutors, you should always press prosecutors to offer evidence showing the exact dollar amounts they are claiming came from the embezzlement, as well as make them demonstrate to you and your attorney how they reached their conclusions. By doing so, you and your attorney can immediately take away the ability of prosecutors to rely on speculation and conjecture, instead forcing them to provide hard evidence to prove their case against you.

Examining the Evidence Used Against You
As to the types of evidence that will be allowed to be used against you in court, this usually comes down to the decision of a judge. In typical embezzlement cases, a judge is given evidence by the district attorney through an indictment, and will examine the indictment to make sure it meets all legal requirements. Upon doing so, the judge can choose to accept or reject all or parts of the evidence, and can also choose to accept evidence post-indictment if a Grand Jury has not been provided with anything prior to this action. Yet once the judge determines the evidence contained in the indictment is legal, the judge is bound by that evidence. Therefore, it is critical you and your attorney be very proactive immediately after allegations are brought forth against you, since this can help determine the types of evidence prosecutors can use against you in court.

What about Hearsay?
When it comes to a trial, hearsay is generally not admissible. However, the same does not hold true for hearings. In fact, during a court hearing regarding your embezzlement case, hearsay is admissible and permissible. Because of this, it is even more crucial you and your attorney work hard to make prosecutors give clear and specific evidence as to how they arrived at the estimation of loss for your case. Since there will be many types of evidence that may be presented to a judge during these hearings, paying attention to even the slightest details may mean the difference between ultimately being found guilty or gaining an acquittal.

Examples of Evidence
When you are involved in hearings regarding alleged embezzlement, prosecutors will provide the judge with a variety of evidence they claim proves your guilt. These usually include various types of documents, computer records, and other data. Common examples include tax documents, invoices, bank statements, credit card statements, emails and text messages, and other related documents that allegedly show the amount of money or value of property that was lost due to the embezzlement they allege you committed.

Why Estimation of Loss is So Important
While you may think a few hundred dollars here and there will not make any difference regarding the embezzlement charges against you, you are wrong. Since there are many different levels and degrees of grand larceny or criminal possession of stolen property, this can have a significant impact on the types of penalties you may be facing. Thus, when it comes to sentencing or restitution, the figures allowed to be entered into evidence against you can come back to haunt you if they are not addressed in earlier hearings.

Rely on Your Attorney
Whenever you are charged with embezzlement, always hire a defense attorney who is skilled in representing clients in these cases. Since prosecutors will work hard to portray you in the most negative way possible, your attorney will need to do the opposite and put as much pressure as possible on prosecutors to have concrete proof of the charges against you. By having an attorney who is willing to take the fight directly to prosecutors from day one, your chances of gaining a lighter sentence or even an acquittal increase.

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