Can Restitution Include Losses from Outside the Statute of Limitations?

Can Restitution Include Losses from Outside the Statute of Limitations?
restitution

Should the statute of limitations also apply toward restitution and other elements of the sentencing? To start, if their statute of limitations for the crime has passed, then the victim would not be able to pursue action in a civil court. It would not be possible for them to take action that would result in a financial accommodation to their injuries or damages suffered for the crime.

However, when you’re working with the criminal court, they’ll take action whenever they have enough information and evidence to move forward with a case. They may make arrests years after a scheme began or ended. And of course, they don’t always ‘pin’ the right person, making it exceptionally difficult for the accused. Contact our Middletown criminal attorneys today for help.

Sentencing and Restitution

Most white-collar crimes such as fraud, embezzlement, tax evasion, and more will include restitution. Restitution serves as a punishment but also as a means to ease the suffering of the victim. What happens is that during sentencing, the judge may decide to impart a jail sentence, probation, house arrest, or similar. Those are all physical elements of the sentencing. Then they’ll look at the financial elements, and that is where restitution comes into play.

If the victim suffered any type of monetary loss, then you should expect to pay restitution. That restitution may sit there until you get out of jail and reenter the workforce. However, it is usually in the interest of restitution that judges give less jail time because they want this person working again to pay back the victims.

Restitution does not excuse other penalties administered during sentencing. Court fees, fines, and financial penalties can build up quickly, and restitution is on top of all that. Just keep in mind that restitution is not a court fine.

Who Does Restitution Go To?

By definition, the restitution should return to the property owner or the party financially afflicted by the criminal act. What happens in these cases is that the judge will make a determination for fair repayment to the victims of the crime. All too often, white-collar crime is seen as a ‘victimless’ crime, but in truth, the victims are companies, government branches, or unsuspecting citizens.

The restitution should go directly to the victims. Now when the victim is a company or a government entity, then it goes to that party. The state can collect restitution in payments, a lump sum if the defendant’s assets make that seem reasonable, or even through garnishment. That’s right, you could go back to work and then have a substantial portion, sometimes as much as 25% or even more when certain exceptions apply.

What Can A Judge Include in Restitution Sentencing

A judge should only be permitted to include the damages caused as a direct result of the crime. Additionally, that should only fall to include the aspects of the prime that were proven and when there is a guilty plea or verdict. For example, someone running a boiler room-type scam should only have to pay restitution for the financial losses that the victims can prove. In short, a judge can’t simply pull a number out of their hat.

However, the big issue here is whether the statute of limitations applies to restitution sentencing. Can a judge make you pay for damages that are years and years gone? The answer is a little murky, but recent court decisions make it seem like they can.

Recent Second Circuit Decision Explained

On May 19th of 2020, the Second Circuit court made a decision that drastically changed how attorneys are preparing for sentencing when it comes to restitution. They determined in U.S. v Parnell that the defendant was required to pay the total losses resulting from a wire fraud crime. Those losses extended far beyond the five-year statute of limitations, and Parnell’s attorney’s appealed that decision. The Second Circuit did not agree that the statute of limitations applied for restitution sentencing.

Work On Your Defense with a Connecticut 24-Hour Criminal Lawyer

Finding an appropriate criminal defense attorney, specifically for white-collar crimes, is a challenge. Most of the time, these attorneys want the cases that skirt the extent of the law just barely. But Aeton Partners isn’t afraid of a challenge. We’re looking at the best and worst-case scenarios when you come into our office. Of course, we’ll fight fervently to keep you out of prison and working in your industry. However, when looking at these cases realistically, it’s clear that an attorney should discuss possible sentencing before the case gets that far. Call Aeton Partners for a 24-hour criminal attorney in CT.

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