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I was sentenced to aiding and abetting a bank robbery with a $312,00.000 restitution. However, it is in my sentencing and plea agreement that I only received $7500.00, is the anyway I can have this separated in hopes to own property and not be in debt the rest of my life?
Answer: A court has the discretion to decide whether to hold defendants jointly and severally liable for restitution. See U.S. v. Booth, 309 F.3d 566 (9th Cir. 2002). I'm not aware of any way that you can challenge that as an abuse of discretion except through direct appeal of the court's judgment. Most likely your plea agreement prevents you from an appeal, but you should discuss that possibility with your federal defense attorney. If the agreement itself says that you will be held jointly and severally liable, then it would be very difficult indeed to modify those terms. There are ways to address a restitution order after sentencing. E.g. a defendant can petition to have the terms modified due to a change of circumstances and ability to pay. See 18 U.S.C.A. § 3664(k). This provision may offer you some hope, but it's a complex question. If you need representation and don't already have an attorney, you can contact me to discuss the matter. Best of luck.
Steven Brody is an experienced Los Angeles Federal Defense Attorney . Please send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.