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What Is Restitution In A Criminal Case

What Is Restitution in a Criminal Case?

What is Restitution

Restitution in a criminal case involves a convicted offender paying back victims of their crime for the financial losses they have caused. This order is always considered when giving an offender a sentence. If a judge chooses not to give an offender restitution, they must be able to give solid reasoning as to why they believe it does not need to be used.

When is Restitution Used

Restitution is meant to restore the crime victim financially to the point they were at before the crime occurred. It is used when a judge believes it is necessary for the rehabilitation of the offender. Restitution is also used when a majority of the victim’s financial losses are directly caused by the offender’s crime.

What Qualifies For Restitution

The United States Department of Justice states that restitution in a criminal case may include…

  • Lost income from work
  • Property damage
  • Counseling
  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral costs
  • Other financial costs directly related to the crime

What Doesn’t Qualify for Restitution

Financial losses that are not able to be included in restitution include…

  • State or federal taxes
  • Interest
  • Penalties or fines
  • Expenses for private legal representation relating to personal or business legal issues raised by the crime
  • Fees for tax advisors
  • Accountants or other professionals
  • Legal expenses for the civil recovery of financial losses
  • Losses for pain & suffering

What Determines The Amount?

When determining the amount of restitution that an offender must pay, a lot of different factors come into play such as…

  • Losses suffered by the victim
  • The seriousness of the offense
  • The financial burden placed on the victim, the government, and others injured as a result of the crime
  • The current financial resources of the defendant
  • The defendant’s future ability to pay

Contact Us

For more information or any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out and contact us here at Schehr Law PLLC.