State Senate Passes Bill Expanding Definition of Restitution

John A. DeFrancisco

May 21, 2013

State Senator John A. DeFrancisco announced that his bill (S.337), which would expand the scope of individuals and entities that are considered a “victim,” passed the New York State Senate today.

An existing law allows sentencing courts to order restitution or reparation for certain victims. This bill would amend the law to include any person, private company, or public agency, or department which took action to prevent, mitigate, or remedy damages to persons or property caused by the crime.

By enlarging the scope of the term “victim,” sentencing courts will have wider authority to order a convicted defendant to make reparation of actual out-of-pocket losses to an entity that suffers damages resulting from the crime.

“If this bill becomes law, a fire department could receive restitution for expenses related to a fire set by a convicted arsonist. It is important that we hold convicted criminals accountable for their actions,” said Senator DeFrancisco.

This bill has been referred to the New York State Assembly and is awaiting approval from that body.