In a criminal case, Restitution can effect your life even more than a criminal conviction. Did you know that in Denver and Douglas County thousands of dollars are sought for the simplest of crimes? If you plead guilty or are convicted at trial for a crime, you will likely be liable for reimbursing all expenses incurred by your victim. No matter what the crime is “every order of conviction….shall include a consideration of restitution” (Restitution, C.R.S. 18-1.3-603). The judge can order reimbursement for medical bills, counseling, and anything else which a “victim” can say was related to their victimization. The judge has great latitude in coming up with the final amount which is based on information given by the victim and District Attorney. However, the process is easy to abuse.
Many times, especially with Traffic Accidents and Crimes in Arapahoe, Jefferson and Adams County, people who say they are victims exaggerate their restitution claims. I remember one case where a lady said her beat up car was rear ended in a tight paralell parking spot. She backed her car right up against our client’s car and called the police. Fortunately, we were able to convince the judge that it was a set up and no real proof of loss existed. This case illustrates just how easy it is to get the DA to prosecute a case when financial gain is at the root.
A restitution hearing can be set by the court if the defendant disagrees to the amount of repayment requested. However, there seems to be a presumtion that most amounts claimed are valid. The amount of the court’s order can be critical because an order of this type must be paid in full in order to successfully complete a probation sentence.
Restitution orders have consequences which last far beyond a sentencing hearing. When the ordered amount has not been paid in full by the end of probation, the court has the authority to continue out a defendant’s probation in Broomfield and Boulder County. This extension will result in additional expenses and costs for probation supervision or treatment while on probation. Probation can also be terminated unsuccessfully and the leftover restitution placed on the books as a civil judgment, which the victim can sue for. The worst possible scenario is that a defendant’s probation is revoked, and the person is resentenced. Jail or prison can result when probation is revoked.
No matter the severity of your charges, if you are faced with a Revocation Complaint for not paying all the restitution in a criminal case, contact the experienced attorneys at the O’Malley Law Office. Be smart, exercise your right to remain silent, and call us today at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.