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When exactly is my 20 years for federal restitution over?

Greensboro, NC |

I plead guilty in federal court in 1999 and ordered to pay restitution under MVRA. I spent 6 months in a prison boot-camp, 6 months in a halfway house, then another 3 years on probation. I know that the statute says 20 years from the end of imprisonment. But do the boot-camp, halfway house, and/or probation count as imprisonment? At exactly what point did my 20 years start?

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Attorney answers 2


18 USC Section 3613(b) limits a defendant's liability for restitution to twenty years from the *later* of the date of the judgment or the defendant's release from imprisonment. (That is also the language of the statute as it existed in 1999.) In your case, "boot camp" (which no longer exists in the federal prison system) was known as the "Shock Incarceration Program," and was considered a term of imprisonment. Therefore, the limitations period began on the day that you were released from boot camp.

Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.


The six months in a halfway house was part of your prison sentence. The 20 years started on the first day of your probation. Be aware, however, that pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 3664(m), the victim to whom restitution is due can obtain a judgment against you for the amount of the restitution and have it filed as a lien against your property. The 20 year limit applies to your obligations to the feds and would not limit the victim's own collection efforts which would be governed by the laws in the state in which the lien was filed against you.

This answer is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended as the practice of law in any jurisdiction in which I am not licensed. The answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. The answer is based only on the information provided, and may be inaccurate in the context of additional facts that have not been provided. The questioner should be aware that I am only licensed to practice law in the state and federal courts of Minnesota. Accordingly, before taking any action or refraining from taking any action, the questioner should consult with an attorney licensed to practice in his or her jurisdiction.