Being arrested and charged with criminal offenses related to fraud can be intimidating. You are likely facing jail time and fines, in addition to other severe penalties.

Many people who face criminal charges wonder whether paying restitution is an option for keeping them out of jail. However, every person’s case is different.

Paying Restitution to Avoid Jail for Fraud

In some cases, you may be able to avoid going to jail by agreeing to pay restitution to the victims. However, you could still spend some time in jail in addition to paying restitution depending on the charges against you.

The court recognizes several reasons why victims seek restitution, including:

  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages
  • Reputational damage
  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Medical expenses and equipment (current and future)
  • Loss of consortium
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Pain and suffering
  • Inconvenience

By agreeing to pay restitution for the various ways that the fraudulent activity has impacted their lives, you may be able to clear your name.

Restitution allows you to show the court that you acknowledge your actions and want to make things right. This act could go a long way in helping to avoid a criminal conviction and jail time.

Who Is Eligible for Paying Restitution After Fraud Charges?

Paying restitution may not be an option for every person, and it might not be enough to keep you out of prison.

Individuals who may qualify for paying restitution for fraud charges as a potential diversion to jail include:

  • Clean record
  • No prior convictions for fraud
  • No additional current criminal charges of any kind

Paying restitution could keep you out of jail. However, if you agree to pay restitution and then miss payments, a warrant may be issued for your arrest. You could be sent to prison unless you work out a payment agreement

Penalties for Fraud in Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania takes fraud charges very seriously. Depending on the details of your case, you could be facing misdemeanor or felony fraud charges, either at the state and federal levels.

If you are found guilty of fraud, you can expect harsh penalties. Some of the more common types of consequences associated with a fraud conviction in Pennsylvania include:

  • Jail time
  • Prison time
  • Fines
  • Community service
  • Probation requirements
  • Parole requirements
  • Trouble with immigration or citizenship
  • Difficulty finding gainful employment
  • Difficulty finding affordable, safe housing
  • Child custody issues
  • Loss of professional licenses

These are just a few of the different penalties you might face if you are found guilty of fraud in Pennsylvania.

Contact a Pennsylvania Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

If you face fraud charges, paying restitution to victims might allow you to avoid jail. An experienced Pennsylvania criminal defense lawyer can help you understand your options for the best possible outcome.

Schedule your initial consultation with Skinner Law Firm today. Please fill out our convenient contact form or call us at 610-436-1410.

Article Author

Michael J. Skinner, the founder of Skinner Law Firm LLC, is a former prosecutor with the Chester County District Attorney’s Office.

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