Restitution as Part of a Criminal Sentence
2 years ago by Brian
While most defendants worry about jail time, restitution can be a major part of a criminal sentence. You want a Woodbury, MN, criminal defense lawyer making sure that your restitution order does not violate your legal rights.
In many cases, crimes are unlawful because they cause harm to others. Such harm might be in the form of physical bodily injuries or financial losses, including stolen items or property damage. While the criminal process aims to punish offenders for violating the law, it also tries to help crime victims recover from the harm they suffered. One way the criminal justice system tries to accomplish this is by ordering convicted offenders to pay restitution.
If you are facing criminal charges, a restitution order can impact your future in many ways. You should always seek help from an experienced Woodbury, MN criminal defense lawyer to minimize the consequences that you face.
Crime victims can submit their losses to seek restitution as part of a defendant’s sentence following a guilty plea or verdict. Before ordering restitution, the court is supposed to weigh the basis for restitution with the defendant’s resources and ability to pay. However, in too many cases, the judge will order the amount of restitution requested by the crime victim without properly considering the defendant’s position. You want a criminal defense attorney who can fight to make sure any restitution order is fairly considered.
If you are ordered to pay, you will have a specified time when the restitution is due. If you fail to pay the full restitution amount by that date, it can be a violation of your probation conditions, and it can result in you being arrested and dragged back into court for a new case. If you are unable to pay restitution, never simply ignore it, as doing so can have serious consequences.
Instead, a criminal defense lawyer can help you challenge the restitution order. This must be done within 30 days from sentencing, and it involves requesting a hearing to review whether the order was proper. Your attorney can present evidence to challenge the restitution ordered, and you must file an affidavit with the grounds for your challenge prior to the hearing date.
Your defense lawyer can represent you at the hearing and lay out the reasons why you cannot – or should not have to – pay the restitution as initially ordered as part of your sentence. This can involve complex legal arguments, so having experienced defense assistance is crucial.
Learn How a Woodbury, MN Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help
Restitution is only one part of a criminal sentence, but it should not be ignored. Just like any other criminal penalties, restitution payments can impact your life, and you should always make sure that your restitution order is not unfair or does not violate your rights.
The best way to avoid a restitution order is to successfully defend against your criminal charges, to begin with. As soon as you are arrested or charged, you want to get the right Woodbury criminal defense lawyer on your side. The legal team at J.S. Defense, PA, is ready to help, so please call (651) 968-9652 or contact us online today.