Embezzlement cases are financial cases that fit into the federal sentencing theme based on the amount of money involved. Federal sentencing involves the use of the federal sentencing guidelines. The guidelines are no longer mandatory; however, they are still advisory. Judges still routinely refer to them, rely upon them, and sentence in accordance with them. If you have been charged with a federal offense and want to know more about Maryland federal embezzlement sentencing, speak with a capable embezzlement attorney that could answer your questions.
Under the federal sentencing guidelines in an embezzlement case, the two biggest factors are the amount of money that was defrauded or stolen and the person’s criminal history. These factors are placed into a table with the criminal history across the top and the offense level down the side of the table. In a federal case, the judge looks for the person’s criminal history category. There are six categories. As the number goes up from one to six, the severity of the punishment increases. The amount of recommended prison time or whether probation goes away is based on a person’s criminal history score. A criminal history score involves adding up criminal history points from a person’s prior convictions. Repeat offenders are punished more harshly.
The offense level goes from the top of the table to the bottom and specific factors about a case are worth certain points. The higher points going down the chart increase the penalty. At a sentence level one with one point, the person could be probation eligible. However, when someone has 13 points, their offense level is 13 and under the guidelines, the person is not eligible for probation.
In a financial case like a federal embezzlement case, the amount of money is a huge factor in determining the offense level. Someone who embezzled a million dollars faces a much higher sentence level number than someone who embezzled a thousand dollars.
There are other factors to consider in an embezzlement case. The length of time the embezzlement continued, whether there was a conspiracy involving other people and whether the victim was specifically vulnerable. Embezzlement by its nature is viewed more harshly than random theft. A person who takes $500 from a park bench is considered worse by the government than someone who defrauds their employer of $500.
Maryland federal embezzlement sentencing is a calculation involving all of the facts and factors to come up with a final number that includes the criminal history, the offense level, and an argument about the appropriate sentence with those in mind. Once the offense level and criminal history category are determined, the sentencing guidelines set forth the range of sentences. The prosecutors offer for an upward departure from the guidelines when they think that the case deserves to have a greater punishment than the guidelines suggest. The defense looks for any legitimate reason to depart from the sentencing in a positive, called a downward departure to avoid a long prison sentence.
A person needs to have an attorney who is experienced with embezzlement cases in the jurisdiction the case is in to have the greatest chance for the best outcome. A person should not go to federal court with an attorney who never practiced federal law or has no experience in that particular federal court. An experienced attorney knows how to obtain a favorable reaction from the prosecutors and judges based on their experience with the agencies, the judge, the court, and the type of case. That is absolutely critical when a person hires an attorney. The person needs an attorney with experience in their specific type of case.
There are attorneys who practice criminal law everywhere. There are even attorneys who practice federal criminal law everywhere. When a person is ill, they choose a specialist to treat their illness. In the same way, a person should find an attorney who specializes in the specific area of law their case is based on to obtain a favorable outcome. A lawyer familiar with Maryland federal embezzlement sentencing could work diligently to mitigate a person’s sentence. Contact a qualified federal embezzlement attorney that could advocate for you.