There are many possible penalties that a person will face if they are convicted of a white collar crime. One of these is that they might be ordered to pay restitution. This is a financial responsibility that comes on top of fines, which can also be a factor in these cases.
Typically, the court orders restitution when the victims in the case have financial losses. This means you are likely to have to pay it when you are found guilty of things like embezzlement, forgery, identity theft and fraud. The goal of it is to restore them to the state they were in before the crime was committed.
Restitution is normally ordered as part of a sentencing package. It might be in conjunction with incarceration or probation. Sometimes, paying restitution is a condition of an alternative sentence that must be completed if you are going to successfully complete a program.
There are statutes that affect how much in restitution someone can be required to pay. These statutes also cover who can receive these payments and how the amount is determined. The payment doesn’t have to be made all at once. Instead, the court can set a payment plan up, so the restitution is paid over time.
If restitution is ordered in conjunction with incarceration, it is often a very slow process for repayment. This is because the inmate doesn’t really have a viable income. Once they are released, the payment amounts can increase to pay the balance off faster.
People who have a criminal charge that might come with restitution orders need to understand how this might impact them. As you craft your defense, be sure to consider this possibility.