Tampa criminal lawyers are often asked about why individuals are forced to pay restitution in their Florida criminal case. In short, Florida law has authorized State Attorney’s Offices to seek restitution in an attempt to make the victims of crime “whole” again after the incident. Restitution raises a whole host of issues though, that an experienced Tampa criminal lawyer can assist a criminal defendant with during their criminal case.
First, it is important that the proper amount of restitution be calculated and identified. While this sounds somewhat easy and straight forward, many times Assistant State Attorneys do these calculations quickly and hastily as this is often one of the final issues dealt with in the resolution of a criminal case. We have identified many means to assist in our clients in these matters from identifying the insurance deductible to determining the fair market value of an item, rather than applying the request value of the item. For example, if the case involves an auto accident and the owner of the vehicle has automobile insurance, the owner would only pay out of pocket the deductible. As you can imagine, the $500 or $1,000 deductible is much less than the total damage to the vehicle. While the insurance company may later come and get involved in restitution issues, that occurs far less often.
Secondly, a Tampa criminal lawyer will assist you in ensuring restitution is satisfied quickly in the case to assist the accused in getting a better plea agreement. For example, many times an individual will be able to avoid probation, if restitution is satisfied prior to the resolution of the case. This saves the accused hundreds and hundreds of dollars since they will not have to pay the cost of supervision and other probationary costs.
Lastly, the Tampa criminal lawyers of Hackworth Law have handled many restitution hearings, where they required the State Attorney’s Office to prove the actual amount of damages. This is especially critical in cases involving unlicensed contracting issues since courts have a significant amount of restitution to determine and significant latitude in deciding the restitution amount. Unlicensed contacting cases involve the court essentially making determinations as to the fair market value of the labor and materials as opposed to the price charged. Restitution hearings in these sorts of cases are highly complex and require experience.
If you or someone you know has questions concerning restitution in a criminal case, contact the Tampa criminal lawyers of Hackworth Law for a free case consultation. We have handled many of these matters throughout the Tampa Bay Area and work to ensure our clients receive the best deal possible. If you wish to contact one of our Tampa criminal lawyers immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right hand corner of our website. We appreciate your time in checking out our blog and look forward to hearing from you.