October 20, 2014
Many Californians are aware that when a person is convicted of a crime, he or she will be punished with fines, jail time, prison time or probation. However, not many Californians know about an additional fine known as restitution. Under Article I, Section 28(b) of California's Constitution, when someone is convicted of a crime, he or she must pay restitution to the victim.
Essentially, restitution is how the convicted offender pays compensation for the financial losses, property damage, or even medical costs that the victim (and even the state in some cases) has suffered as a result of the crime.
The sum of the restitution is based on the severity of the crime and the extent of the losses the victim has suffered. For example, a judge may order restitution of $120 to $1,000 for a misdemeanor crime, whereas a felony conviction may result in $240 to $10,000 in restitution.
However, in many cases, a judge may decide that the offender is not responsible for paying restitution depending on compelling or extraordinary circumstances. Additionally, offenders are entitled to a hearing in order to dispute restitution, according to PC 1202.4(f)(1).
If you are facing criminal charges or have been convicted of a crime, contact The Law Offices of Daniel E. Kann in Ventura County. Our firm is proud to offer free and confidential case evaluations to help our prospective clients make a well-informed decision about their rights and future. Call (888) 744-7730 to learn more.