Restitution in criminal cases often involves questions as to whether one’s insurance will assist them in paying the money back. Tampa defense attorneys are constantly asked about restitution because restitution is often one of the more significant financial obligations an individual is responsible for after a conviction in their criminal matter. Florida Statute Section 775.089 provides the legal basis for a Court ordering restitution. As we discuss elsewhere on our Tampa criminal attorney blog, restitution is a situation where the State Attorney’s Office on behalf of the victim is making a financial claim against the defendant for damages. The easiest way to think of this is in a DUI involving property damage case. This charge involves someone driving under the influence obviously and being in some sort of car accident which results in property damage. Here in our example, the third party has suffered some sort of property damage, and the State Attorney’s Office would seek restitution to repair the individual’s car. This restitution would be enforceable by the court by putting the defendant on probation or requiring them to make minimum monthly payments until the completion of the restitution. Further, the court could violate the individual for failing to make those minimum monthly payments.
If you have car insurance, they will generally assist in the restitution, but it is worth noting that you will still be responsible for the deductible of the other party. Again, to highlight the example we laid out above, if the other party had a deductible of one thousand dollars and they met the deductible due to the damage to their car, the criminal defendant charged with driving under the influence involving property damage would be responsible for the thousand dollar deductible. Again, as we’ve discussed elsewhere, our Tampa defense attorney blog, restitution is not intended to enrich a victim. It is intended to make that victim whole again from the damages caused by the criminal defendant.
We have extensive experience in dealing with matters involving restitution in criminal cases, including but not limited to, driving under the influence with property damage, leaving the scene of an accident, careless driving, reckless driving, unlicensed contracting, petty theft, worthless checks, etc. All these matters do not necessarily invoke issues with insurance. They all may require defendants to pay restitution to victims and require skilled attorneys to ensure defendants do not overpay, setting themselves up for violations of probation in the future that may have otherwise been avoided if they were handled properly at the trial court level.
If you have questions concerning restitution in criminal cases and/or general questions about a Tampa criminal defense matter, contact the Tampa criminal attorneys at Hackworth Law for free case consultation. We’ve handled thousands of criminal cases in the Tampa Bay area and work hard to protect our clients’ rights, especially dealing with restitution because of the financial obligations on probation that our clients face. If you would like to contact one of our Tampa criminal attorneys immediately, please use the “contact us now” tab in the upper right-hand corner of our website. We appreciate your time and attention to this matter and look forward to working with you in the near future.