Being a victim of a crime in Arizona is not only damaging and hurtful but also quite expensive. You suffer from injuries, the loss of a property, a loved one, or you even lose the ability to work and sustain yourself and the people depending on you; therefore, it is only right that you get restitution for the crimes committed against you. Here is a quick overview of how restitution works and how it can help you.
What is restitution in Arizona?
According to the state’s criminal law, while the court is giving out a sentence, they can order the defendant to compensate the victim for any losses they suffered due to the crime committed. The law requires Arizona courts to consider giving restitution to the victim, even if they don’t request it.
What factors determine restitution amounts?
According to the 2011 Arizona Revised Statutes Title 13 Criminal Code 13-804, the amount of restitution the defendant should pay is not limited by the maximum fine that may be imposed. The only elements that the court considers include:
- The economic burden the victim or the government has suffered as a result of the crime.
- The seriousness of the offense and the unique circumstances involves.
- The financial benefits that the perpetrator gained from committing the crime.
- The losses that the victim experienced.
How does restitution work?
When someone commits a crime against you, the Arizona law allows you to file a restitution lien against their current or future property. This lien gives you the right to claim the defendant’s property if they fail to deliver on the compensation they owe you. However, once you receive the full restitution amount, the court will obligate you to release the lien you have over the offender.
If you have an objection to the amount the court asks the defendant to give you, then you can file for a restitution hearing to challenge what the court asked the defendant in the first place. Under rule 24.3, the court doesn’t have the right to order restitution once the defendant is released from parole or probation. The only thing you can file for now is a civil claim against the defendant.
It is important to remember that restitution is not automatically ordered when the defendant signs a plea agreement. You should be proactive to ensure that you get what you deserve.