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Restitution Basics

At the end of a case, the court will hand down a decision in regards to the charges brought forward by the prosecution. If a decision of “guilty” is handed down, a sentence will be determined. While the sentence may include fines and jail time, there’s an additional element to your sentence that’s not often talked about but is a significant factor. Restitution is a financial consideration provided to victims of certain crimes as part of a defendant’s sentence. Courts can order defendants to pay restitution that is equal to the physical or financial loss that the victim accrued as a result of the defendant’s actions.

Why Restitution Exists

While a defendant can be convicted of a crime and sentenced to incarceration, certain crimes lead to financial losses for the victim. For example, an assault and battery victim may have medical expenses and lost wages as a result of the attack. Restitution can be ordered in this situation.

What Restitution Can Be Used For

As mentioned previously, restitution may be ordered to help a victim recover losses stemming from a crime. Specifically, restitution is ordered to recover

  • • Medical and therapy expenses
  • • Lost wages
  • • Property damage
  • • Pharmaceutical costs
  • • Crime scene clean-up
  • • Counseling expenses

Restitution cannot be used to cover “pain and suffering” or any other losses above ones directly related to the crime.

Who’s Eligible for Restitution

The direct and indirect victims of a crime are eligible for restitution. In certain cases, insurance companies and government entities may also receive restitution.

Why You May Be Ordered to Pay Restitution

If the victim specifically request restitution or if they submit an itemized list of expenses to the court, it’s more likely that restitution will be ordered. A felony defense attorney in Tampa has the ability to fight a restitution order. A possible defense he or she can mount is if the the victim has liability insurance that covers the expenses that the restitution is being requested to solve.

For a free consultation with an experienced felony defense lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm at (813) 712-8736 or submit our contact request form.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.