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Theft Crime: Embezzlement Sentencing Guidelines

In both the federal and state governments, strict guidelines are laid out regarding the mandatory minimums for serious charges. Among these are embezzlement charges. Every crime on the books has sentencing guidelines that judges are encouraged to abide by, and some have additional strict minimum sentences that judges must abide by. The best way to understand how sentencing guidelines apply to your embezzlement case is by contacting an experienced theft lawyer with the details of your case.

Sentencing Levels

Different degrees of criminality have different levels of sentencing. For example, misdemeanors tend to carry much less severe penalties than felonies. In fact, the most serious type of misdemeanor, a Class A misdemeanor, has a maximum penalty of just one year in jail. When it comes to embezzlement charges, the majority of crimes are felonies. As soon as you’ve embezzled more than a thousand dollars, you’re in felony territory.

Different states have slightly different guidelines, and the federal government has their own rules. In most states, the nature of each crime doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter whether the crime is a theft or a violent offense. Each crime is given a classification of felony, and the majority of felonies come with the same base sentencing range.

For example, in the state of New York, all violent and non-violent Class C and Class D felonies go through the same process. They have the same general sentencing guidelines. But the individual judge in each case is allowed to use discretion regarding the severity of the sentence.

Factors of Sentencing

There are a number of factors that affect the sentence that a person will receive if they are convicted of an embezzlement charge. These are some of the most common:

  • Whether the total amount of money stolen exceeds one thousand, three thousand, fifty thousand, or one million dollars
  • Whether the person has committed this crime or any other theft crimes before
  • Whether the person has been convicted of any felonies before
  • Who the money was stolen from
  • Why the money was stolen
  • What the money was used for
  • The long-term impacts upon the victim or victims

The class of felony is determined based on the total dollar amount of the theft. From there, the sentence is up to the judge’s discretion. If the crime was particularly selfish and caused a lot of harm, the person is more likely to suffer a harsh sentence.

Once all of these factors have been explored, there are three ways that the situation can be resolved. One is to have the charges dropped. This will typically occur if you’re able to prove your innocence, or your lawyer is able to prove that the prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence to prove you’ve committed a crime.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Another option is to take a plea deal. This is a choice that you may be offered by the prosecution. Typically, a plea deal will be a way for you to plead guilty to a lesser charge and receive a lighter sentence. A prosecutor may offer a plea deal as a way of resolving a case rather than bringing it all the way through the judicial process. You’ll need to talk to your lawyer about why they’re offering the deal and whether the prosecution has a case if you proceed with a trial.

If the prosecution declines to offer a plea deal, or you decide not to take a plea deal, the case will proceed to trial. Both the prosecution and the defense will argue their sides in front of a judge. The judge will make the final ruling on whether you’re guilty or innocent. Should you be judged guilty, the judge will then pass down a sentence that they believe befits the crime.

State and Federal Sentencing

When you’re tried in federal court, the sentencing guidelines aren’t mandatory. However, judges do follow them except in extreme circumstances. Federal cases are more formulaic and don’t involve so much negotiating with the prosecutor.

When you’re tried in a state court, as long as the crime doesn’t carry a mandatory minimum sentence, the prosecution undergoes more negotiation. The individuals involved in the situation have more of an ongoing conversation. Even in cases involving predicate felons, this negotiation process remains intact, though it does tend to have limits. Federal attorneys can negotiate with prosecutors regarding the sentencing of an embezzlement charge, but there tends to be more leeway in a state negotiation.

Mandatory Minimum Sentences

Some states have mandatory minimum sentences for embezzlement charges. One example is New York. In New York, if you embezzle more than a million dollars, you’ll be subject to a mandatory one to three years in prison, with a maximum twenty-five years in prison.

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