Embezzlement is a crime with many varied ingredients. In general, it refers to the act of taking things from an organization or company. Those who have been the victim of this crime or may be accused of it should consult with legal authorities. A good lawyer can help them understand what is going on and why. Some terms can and should be understood before doing anything else. It helps to know what is being said by the court and why. One of the most important is after the defendant has been found guilty of this act in a court of law in New York. After this happens, the court will consider what is known as harm in sentencing. Harm in sentencing has a specific meaning that can apply to this case in many possible ways. For all cases concerning embezzlement harm is done on an individual basis and considered that way when examining sentencing possibilities. A person may steal someone’s life savings in the form of the funds they have invested in a business over time and leave them barely able to pay their bills when facing retirement. Stealing the same sum will not have the same impact on the company owner’s bottom line when that business is thriving. Other factors will also go into considering any potential harm to the company or to an organization and all those who are associated with it. These are known as elements of harm when thinking about embezzlement. Harm is defined in many ways under the law.
The Elements of Harm
Legal officials take into account many factors when they speak about harm. If the person was embezzling from a larger organization, they might have taken larger sums of money. If they embezzled a smaller amount, it might be smaller but it also might be much of the company’s profit, making it difficult for the company to survive. The court officials will consider exactly how much was taken in terms of dollars. They will also typically consider if this has an impact on the company owner as well as any other employees. If many people lost their jobs because funds were embezzled, this will also be considered when it comes to considering what kind of response is going to happen going forward. The same is true if the organization has a specific purpose such as raising money for a dangerous disease. If the organization can no longer function this means that people have lost their jobs.
Degree of Harm
Another aspect of the definition of harm that will be considered is the degree of harm. This can be a subjective quality that may have an impact on the person when determining what is going to happen with the defendant. The effects on the person who had the funds in the first place will also be taken into consideration. Elected officials will also take into account whether or not people can pay that money back. If they can pay that sum back, this can also be considered when looking at the overall nature of the issue. A case may have created considerable hardship for the company in many varied ways. For example, that company may be unable to pay their suppliers or respond to consumer or clients demands because they lack capital access. They might also have lost a lease in a good location because of the other person’s act of embezzlement.
Certain forms of embezzlement carry a mandatory minimum sentence. There are two factors that go into determining if the crime meets these standards. The amount of money that was taken plays one role. Another consideration is if the person has a felony in the last decade. This means that if someone steals a given dollar amount it will not trigger the mandatory minimum sentence in New York. There must be a prior felony in the last ten years on their record. If true, this means the defendant will be facing a mandatory minimum that will send them to prison for a certain amount of time. This is a specific crime with a specific set of issues that only apply in this case. These are specifics that the judge will keep in mind when deciding how best to respond to this issue. Judges want evidence the person is truly remorseful. They also want evidence the person is not going to do this to another organization. This is one of many reasons why people need to have a lawyer on their side. They need to have someone who can help explain any possible mitigating factors. The lawyer can also speak on behalf of the organization or company that has been a victim of this act. They are the voices of all the people involved.
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