In white-collar crimes, the Sentencing Guidelines are driven by the amount of intended loss. Federal offense cases are classified by criminal levels, beginning at level six. If the federal offense case is a million dollar loss, the Probation Officer/Judge could add 14 levels to that six, and that person can end up with a Level 20. This means they would receive a much harsher sentence, strictly because of the amount of intended loss.
The possible sentence for a level six loss in sentencing in Clearwater federal offense cases could lead to probation. Escalation to level 20 could guarantee prison for the individual facing federal charges. Contact a skilled federal criminal lawyer as soon as you hear of your charges to try preventing the escalation of the charges you face.
Actual Loss vs. Intended Loss
In a federal offense, the intended loss in sentencing in Clearwater federal offense cases drives the Guidelines. If the Government can prove that the person actually intended to steal a million dollars apiece from a 100 people, then the hundred million dollars is what is used as the intended loss for the Guidelines calculation. The actual loss is not what determines the Sentencing Guidelines. The actual loss has more of an impact on restitution to the victims. The intended loss is considered the total amount money that the individual hoped to receive, whereas the actual loss is how much they were successful in taking.
Fair Market Value Loss
Fair market value is what a reasonable seller would settle for and a reasonable buyer would buy it for. Sometimes in federal cases, the Court has to make a calculation to estimate that. In some cases, they do not have to estimate it because the individual actually had a purchase of the sale. Therefore, they can use that number as the actual loss.
Types of Evidence for Mitigation
An experienced defense attorney can bring in an experienced accountant to analyze the documents that follow the money. That accountant will be able to determine how much money was actually taken. Their opinion may be different than the Government and the Probation Office as to the actual loss. The accountant will take that actual loss to try to extrapolate it out.
As far as the intended loss in sentencing in Clearwater federal offense cases, the experienced accountant will be very helpful in determining the intended loss and may give a different opinion than the Government as to whether or not the defendant really did intend to steal a million dollars from a hundred people or only intended to steal 50 million dollars from 50 people. An accountant is very valuable to the defense attorney in preparing this portion of the defense and will testify on behalf of the defendant at the sentencing hearing.
Speaking with a Lawyer
Any defendant who tries to navigate loss in sentencing in Clearwater federal offense cases may struggle through the process without proper education of the law. The Federal Courts are not something you want to mess around with. If you have been charged in the Federal Court it is important to find a skilled attorney who can fight for you.