White-collar crimes are often financially-motivated offenses. Instead of suffering physical injuries, the victims of white collar crimes usually suffer economic losses — and those losses can be significant.
Because of this, no conversation about a white collar offense with a defendant would be complete without discussing the potential for restitution.
Are fines and restitution different from each other?
The court often imposes fines on defendants convicted of a crime to deter them from carrying out similar acts in the future. Restitution, in contrast, serves the purpose of “repaying” a crime victim for a loss.
How does the payment of restitution work?
Restitution can be quite costly, depending on the gravity of the crime. If they are convicted, almost any white collar defendant is going to be required to pay restitution.
If your sentence is home confinement or supervised release, then you can expect the federal judge presiding over your case to set certain release terms. One of those may be to remain gainfully employed and make monthly restitution payments at a set amount. The amount they order you to pay may be contingent upon the damages they believe you caused and other factors such as what you’re able to pay.
Should you be sentenced to prison, you can expect to have an inmate trust account set up on your behalf. The court may garnish as much as 50% of the amount in that account for restitution.
Keep in mind that your obligation to continue making restitution payments doesn’t end once your sentence in prison or supervised release has ended. The court has the discretion to order you to continue making payments for decades following your conviction.
As you are likely aware, a conviction on your record can make it extremely challenging to secure a job — and that affects your ability to pay restitution. This is one of the countless reasons why you shouldn’t take your charges sitting down.