Sentencing guidelines govern different aspects of sentencing for embezzlement, one of which is the amount of money involved. The amount of money embezzled carries a lot of weight when determining the potential sentence by identifying the proper sentencing guideline ranges. Another factor in determining the sentencing range is whether the person was in a position of trust or is a public official.
There is no mandatory minimum sentence for embezzlement.
The sentencing guidelines depend on the enhancement factors. The amount of money involved is a driving factor in the potential sentence a person could receive. Other factors that can come into play are the number of people involved; whether the person ran the operation; the role they played; and whether the person held a position of trust or was a government official. Other information comes into play when a person is at the actual sentencing.
A good defense lawyer highlights different things about their client, stresses their good characteristics, and brings a host of information that could help a client’s sentencing.
A person should have a federal sentencing lawyer present at their embezzlement sentence hearing because a good defense lawyer can bring information to help lower a potential sentence. That includes challenging some of the potential enhancements; questioning the amount of money involved, and bringing attention to the positive or mitigating information about a client.
Zones are delineated areas in the sentencing guideline table. The guidelines are not mandatory; they are more of a guide for judges. There are four zones: A, B, C, and D. Zone D prescribes incarceration. When someone is in Zone D, probation or a non-custodial sentence is not really authorized. However, a judge can go below those guidelines based on their analysis of the factors they are required to look at in a sentencing.
If someone is in Zone C, then a sentence of imprisonment is authorized. There could also be a term of supervised release such as community confinement or home detention, provided that half of the minimum incarceration sentence is satisfied by imprisonment.
If someone is in Zone B, then the minimum term of the sentence could be satisfied by a sentence of imprisonment, community confinement, or home detention provided there is at least one month of imprisonment.
Zone A allows does not require any imprisonment, unless there is something in the statute that requires it; but, that would be really unusual.
There are more specific guideline enhancements in federal sentencing. It is more formalistic, but the same procedures still applies in state embezzlement charges. Judges still take a look at whether there are state-level guidelines and what those are. A judge looks at the nature and circumstances of the offense. They look at the person to see if there are mitigating or enhancing factors to take into account. The judge is always concerned about the deterrents and sending a message to the community. They determine whether the person needs any services. The factors are the same; they are just more formally laid out in most in federal sentencing cases.