Commonly Asked Questions About Restitution

  1. Can a restitution order be amended after 30 days? Yes.
  2. As a general rule, a court may only modify or rescind an order within 30 days from its entry (42 Pa.C.S. § 5505).  The court recognized that since full restitution amounts are often undeterminable at the time of sentencing, an exception exists for restitution orders: sentencing courts have broad authority to amend restitutions “at any time,” provided that the reasons for doing so are put on the record (18 Pa.C.S. § 1106(c)(3).

  3. Can a restitution order still be enforced after a defendant has “maxed out” of their sentence and is no longer under supervision? Yes.
  4. Where a sentencing court orders restitution as part of the defendant’s sentence, the court has the continuing authority to monitor and enforce it. Ibid .That authority “may exceed the maximum term of imprisonment to which the offender could have been sentenced for the crimes of which he was convicted or the maximum term of confinement to which the offender was committed.” 42 Pa.C.S. § 9728(c).Even after expiration or completion of any other sentencing components (such as incarceration, parole, or probation), the defendant’s sentence is not fully executed until mandatorily imposed restitution has also been paid or otherwise satisfied. See James Ralston .

    Click here to see the entire article, written by Snyder County District Attorney Michael Piecuch.