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Theft Crime: Loss Estimation

When a theft crime like embezzlement is being sentenced, the actual loss is what’s relevant to the sentencing. Actual loss is the value of what was actually stolen. The intended loss doesn’t have an impact on the sentencing. If a person intended to steal more than they did, that doesn’t matter unless they made an active attempt to steal more. Conversely, if a person intended to give the money back or didn’t intend to steal as much as they did, that doesn’t matter. All that matters is the impact.

The charge brought against you in a theft crime is chiefly determined by the loss. The loss will determine whether the crime is a misdemeanor or felony. It will also determine the class of felony or misdemeanor and the degree of criminal behavior. All of these factors combined will bring you to minimum and maximum sentencing guidelines written in the law books. A judge will choose the sentence from somewhere in this sentencing range.

If you’ve been accused of a theft crime, it’s important to talk to a theft attorney as soon as possible. They can examine the evidence of the case and determine whether the amount of loss you’ve been accused of is accurate. From there, they can create a strategic defense to mitigate the charges and potential sentencing.

Monetary Value of Loss

The monetary value of loss will first determine what class of misdemeanor or felony the theft is:

  • Class E felony: Theft larger than $1,000
  • Class D felony: Theft larger than $3,000
  • Class C felony: Theft larger than $50,000
  • Class B felony: Theft larger than $1,000,000

For a class E felony, the prison sentence is anywhere from one and one third to four years. For a class D felony, the prison sentence ranges from two and one third to seven years in prison. For a class C felony, the prison sentence ranges from five to fifteen years in prison. A class B felony has a minimum prison sentence of eight years, and a maximum potential sentence of twenty-five years.

Criminal Possession of Stolen Property

If you possess stolen money or property, this is considered a crime by itself. The charge brought against you would be criminal possession of stolen property. In these cases, the classes and degrees of the offense remain the same with regards to loss amounts.

Criminally possessing stolen property in the fourth, third, second, or first degree is a felony similar to theft-related felonies. The difference is that the person who possesses the property doesn’t need to have actually committed the theft. They just need to be aware that they are intentionally possessing stolen property. Someone can be charged with possession and not theft, or theft and not possession. Some people might also have both charges brought against them.

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.

Reasonable Doubt and Potential Loss

Actual loss is what matters to a theft case. This is the amount of money or property that was actually, measurably lost. When property was stolen, the prosecution will create an estimation of the loss based on the value of the property. The potential loss might also play a role in the prosecution’s case and the judge’s ruling.

Potential loss is loss that a company or person might have sustained due to the crime, but that cannot be proven through documentation. Potential loss tends to be part of a prosecution’s case if the number is much higher than the amount of loss that can be concretely proven.

Potential loss can’t be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Because of this, the accused cannot be convicted of having stolen that amount. A good defense lawyer will poke holes in a prosecutor’s unproven loss analysis. However, discussion of potential loss can color a judge and jury’s opinion on the case. The prosecution may place emotional weight on the potential loss even if they can’t prove it on paper.

When potential loss is introduced in a case, it affects how the judge views the amount that was stolen, the property that was stolen, and the way in which it was stolen. The defendant must be prepared to be confronted by potential loss. During plea negotiations, potential loss will often be part of what’s discussed. Embezzlement lawyers are well-versed in how to build a case using both facts and emotional weight. They can consider the prosecution’s argument and the facts of your case to create a defense that mitigates your potential sentence.

Addressing Estimation of Loss

An estimation of loss is done in a theft crime to determine the degree of the crime. However, the prosecution must have all the documentation to prove that their estimation is reasonable. A good embezzlement lawyer will double-check and question the estimation to make sure all the facts are straight.

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