Maximum Penalty

by dmatson on September 10, 2010

How often does a person get the maximum penalty if found guilty of embezzlement?

As with most criminal charges, the maximum penalty is not used all that often at sentencing time, but it does happen.

If a judge thinks that a case is particularly egregious, if the person shows little or no remorse, or if the maximum jail sentence for the particular theft or embezzlement charge doesn’t seem harsh considering all the facts of the case, then judges will issue that sentence.

In a recent case of an Ohio county treasurer embezzling nearly $3 million dollars, the judge did sentence him to 10 years in prison, which is the maximum penalty for 1st degree embezzlement in Ohio. A first degree felony embezzlement charge in Ohio applies to property valued at over $1 million, and carries a prison sentence of 3 to 10 years.

Another factor could be ability to provide restitution to cover the embezzled funds. Full restitution can be a mitigating factor that can help avoid a maximum sentence, or even help you avoid jail time at all.

Some judges may also be tougher on public corruption cases. If an elected official is guilty, he or she may be more likely to throw the book at him.

Any criminal defense lawyer will tell you that judges aren’t always predictable or consistent. Although some judges can be significantly tougher than others at sentencing.  So it is very possible that a different judge sitting on the bench for the same case might issue a different sentence.

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