In our last post, we began discussing the factors that go into assigning a sentencing range for federal embezzlement convictions and convictions for other theft offenses. We’ve already talked a bit about how an experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to help reduce the sentencing range for these offenses by ensuring that the offense seriousness level assigned to the conviction is no greater than is warranted by the evidence.
Another area that can be targeted to help keep the sentencing range for an embezzlement conviction as low as possible is the criminal history category assigned to the offender. The rules for calculating an offender’s criminal history category are not always simple and straightforward in application, and an experienced advocate can and should make sure that the calculation is not improperly inflated.
A third area where having a strong advocate in the sentencing phase of the criminal process is important is when it comes to dealing with departures. Under the federal sentencing guidelines, judges are permitted to depart from an assigned sentencing range if there are legitimate reasons for doing so. For example, an embezzlement conviction may qualify for a downward departure in cases where the sentence recommended by the guidelines “substantially overstates the seriousness of the offense.”
There are other circumstances in which a downward departure may be necessary as well, and it is important for those facing an embezzlement or theft conviction to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to make sure their rights are protected and that their interests are advocated throughout the sentencing phase of the criminal process.