In a Theft case, Elder Abuse case, or even a DUI case involving injury or property damage, a Court may consider holding a restitution hearing to determine if the Defendant may owe monetary damages to the alleged victim. In a restitution hearing the state has the burden of proof to establish disputed facts by a preponderance of the evidence Moore v State, 706 So.2d 265 (Crim. App 1996)

Evidence must be introduced in order to determine the precise amount of restitution. Henry v. State, 468 So.2d 896 (Crim. App 1984).  Evidence of the exact nature of the Victim’s damages. Williams v State, 624 So.2d 661 (Crim. App 1993). Call our Birmingham, Alabama Restitution defense attorney today at (205) 823-7233.

All special damages recoverable against the defendant in a civil action arising out of the defendant’s criminal activity.  It’s a civil standard.  Code of Alabama (1975) § 15-18-66(2)

  • Money
  • Value of property taken or damaged
  • Related losses such as travel, medical, dental or funeral expenses
  • Wages, including but not limited to wages lost as a result of court appearances.

What’s Included:

The court may not award restitution for pain & suffering inflicted by the defendant.  Franks v State, 664 So.2d 1277 (Crim. App 1993).  Although pain & suffering are traditionally considered as a part of compensatory damages, they are not awardable as Restitution. Gladden v State, 644 So.2d 1267 (Crim. App 1993).

A court may not award punitive damages.  Gladden v State,644 So.2d 1267 (CrimApp 1993).  It is not the purpose of Restitution to PUNISH the defendant.  Williams v State, 624 So.2d 661 (CrimApp 1993).

Restitution must be based upon injuries and loss that was proximately caused by the offense defendant was convicted of or admitted.  D.J.J. v State, 213 So.3d 667 (CrimApp 2014); B.M.J. v State, 952 So.2d 1174 (CrimApp 2006); Lamar v State, 803 So.2d 576 (CrimApp 2001).

Factors the Court Must Consider:

  • Defendant’s financial resources
  • Victim’s financial resources
  • Defendant’s ability to make installment payments
  • The Rehabilitative Effect on the defendant
  • Victim’s “burden or hardship” as a result of crime
  • Victim’s mental, physical & financial well-being

Code of Alabama (1975) §15-18-68

Intervening cause vitiates restitution responsibility.  It was an error to award damages related to house fire where the fire was not caused by defendant’s burglary.  Brothers v State, 531 So.2d 317 (Crim. App 1988).

Damages for Personal Property lost in auto theft are not recoverable in Receiving Stolen Property case, absent proof of the defendant’s possession of the specific property.  D.J.J. v State, 213 So.3d 667 (Crim. App 2014); B.M.J. v State, 952 So.2d 1174 (Crim. App 2006).

Defendant’s Leaving the Scene of an Accident did not proximately cause the injuries & property damage involved in the accident.  Restitution may not be awarded for people who sustained injuries &/or property damage.  Lamar v State, 803 So.2d 576 (Crim. App 2001).

As you can see, Restitution is a complex issue in addition to the criminal allegations that have been alleged against you. Call our Birmingham, Alabama Restitution defense attorney today at (205) 823-7233.

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