NYC Theft Crime Lawyers: Compelling Evidence
Different states have different laws regarding crimes and their sentencing. There are also unique federal guidelines for crimes that are prosecuted on a federal level. Sentencing guidelines are a state or federal government’s way of outlining the minimum and maximum potential penalties for committing a crime. Minimum sentencing is codified into the law books to keep judges from under-sentencing for serious crimes. A judge cannot give a sentence that’s lower than the minimum legally outlined penalty.
This helps to limit the amount of power that judges have in the court system. What judges can decide, though, is where in the sentencing range that a person falls. Sentencing will vary widely from case to case. It is affected by a variety of circumstances including the impact on the victim, the criminal history of the accused, and the conduct of the accused during the case. Your best chance of mitigating your sentence is to hire an experienced embezzlement attorney who can examine the facts of the case and present the most compelling possible defense.
When There Aren’t Sentencing Guidelines
The judge can’t deviate from guidelines laid down in state or federal law. To deviate from the sentencing guidelines, a person would need to strike a plea deal with the district attorney, or they’d need to get the case dismissed. Plea deals might be struck in a variety of cases including:
- The accused made a mistake but is ultimately a well-intentioned person
- The accused made restitution to the victim of the crime
- The prosecution does not have a strong enough case to be confident they’ll get a conviction
- The defense attorney has challenged the evidence substantially enough that the prosecution feels they may not get a conviction
In these cases, the deals are made with the prosecutor rather than the judge. An experienced defense attorney can help to navigate these plea deals and discuss the options.
Value of Stolen Property or Money as Evidence
When you’ve been accused of a theft crime like stealing property or money, the prosecution will need to provide a value of the stolen property as compelling evidence. The prosecutor will need to show the ways that they used to determine the value of the stolen property. They will also need to provide all the documentation possible to show that the individual in question was the one who stole the property.
A defense attorney should pay careful attention to these statements. They should double check the valuation of property and make sure that the prosecution is accurately estimating it. They should also examine all the documentation and determine whether it is all truly relevant to their client. When the prosecution presents this evidence in court, the defense attorney can ask that they specifically explain how each piece of documentation is related to the defendant.
Fraud Committed by the Victim
There are some cases where a person will be accused of stealing, but there was actually fraud committed by the victim. In some circumstances, the accused might have actually stolen, but not the amount that the victim says. For example, someone may steal five hundred dollars from the safe at work. But their boss might then take a few thousand dollars out of the safe and accuse the individual of having stolen several thousand dollars.
If you suspect that you’re being framed for a crime you didn’t commit, it’s vital that you bring your concern up to your defense attorney. They will examine the evidence and decide how best to integrate this into your defense. Don’t bring your concerns to law enforcement unless your attorney instructs you to. They are not working for you right now, and accusing your accuser needs to be done delicately.
In cases where you can provide compelling evidence that the company or accuser is lying to cover up their own fraud, this will often poke enough holes in a case to get the charges dropped entirely. It may also spark a new investigation into the accuser.
Burden of Proof
In the United States, the law operates on an assumption that a person is innocent until they’re proven guilty. That means that the burden of proof is entirely on the prosecution. Not only must they prove that you committed a crime, but they must also provide evidence and documentation showing that you committed the crime. The evidence can’t just place you in the same general vicinity in which a crime was being committed. To reach a conviction, a person must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have intentionally committed the crime in question.
If the prosecution can’t prove a larger crime, they will sometimes bring lesser charges against a person that are easier to prove. Talk to your lawyer about the best defense for your case.