Understanding How Embezzlement Characteristics Work
Embezzlement is a type of offense that can have offense characteristics. These characteristics are basically factors of the offense that can make the crime seem more or less severe. The most basic level is simply the amount stolen. Felony is divided into four degrees of criminality depending on whether a person is charged with stealing above $1,000, above $3,000, above $50,000, or above $1,000,000. There are also multiple characteristics that are basically additional crimes that tend to occur whenever a person takes part in embezzlement. Here are a few of the most common characteristics in embezzlement cases:
- Computer fraud: This may happen whenever you are engaged in any sort of fraudulent behavior, so it is common in embezzlement cases that involve transferring money online.
- Computer trespass: This is a Class E felony that occurs if the embezzler uses unauthorized access to a computer to carry out their initial crime.
- Identity theft: People who pretend to be someone else, either in person or online, to embezzle funds may get charged with identity theft as well.
- Falsifying business records: Those who cover up their crime by altering business records may be charged with this characteristic.
- Forgery: Forgery is a separate felony crime involved in doing things like forging signatures on checks.
- Elder abuse: Taking advantage of a significantly older person, especially if they are mentally incompetent, can lead to further charges.
- Violence: Any physical violence transforms it from a non violent felony to a violent felony, which adds a few years to sentencing.
Find Out How Characteristics Impact Sentencing
The main reason to pay attention to offense characteristics during embezzlement cases is because they alter your potential sentence. Typically, embezzlement comes with one or more non violent felony charges. Each additional characteristic can add another felony charge that comes with its own sentence. Here are the prison sentences you can expect for the various types of felonies that occur with embezzlement and embezzlement offense characteristics:
- Class B Felony: One year to 25 years
- Class C Felony: Probation to 15 years
- Class D Felony: Probation to 7 years
- Class E Felony: Probation to 4 years
In addition to prison, you may expect to pay various fines or pay restitution to your victims of up to twice the amount of money embezzled if you are convicted.
How to Use Embezzlement Characteristics in Your Defense
As you can see, there is a huge range of available prison sentences available for the various felonies associated with embezzlement. Therefore, a lot of your defense may revolve around showing that you were not guilty of offense characteristics like forgery. Your lawyer may call into doubt the amount of money embezzled or show that there is no way to prove you used a computer for your embezzlement. When your attorney successfully argues in your defense, you may end up with a shorter prison time or no prison time at all. The court’s discretion is used to decide sentencing, so your lawyer may also help you explain mitigating circumstances. Typically, penalties are more severe if you do not pay back embezzled funds and if you stole from a business who could not pay employees or business expenses due to embezzlement.
Since the method of embezzlement and the amount of money involved make such a big difference to your sentence, you need an experienced embezzlement attorney on your side. The right defense can help you reduce your sentence or prove your innocence. Call Spodek Law Group at 888-348-8028 to discuss your case and find out how we can help you.