Restitution In Michigan Criminal Cases
Michigan’s restitution law requires that the court shall order defendant to make full restitution to any victim of defendant’s course of conduct. A restitution hearing can occur in the district court for a misdemeanor or the circuit court for a felony. Restitution and can be ordered at the time of sentencing or at a later hearing.Important Facts About Restitution
- The defendant’s ability to pay is not a consideration when determining the amount of restitution.
- If conduct causes serious bodily injury, serious impairment of bodily function or death, court may order triple restitution.
- Restitution may include any individual or entity (such as the victim’s insurance company) that suffers direct physical or financial harm as a result of an offense.
- Restitution may include “any victim” of the defendant’s course of conduct even though the losses are not attributable to the factual foundation of the charge that resulted in the conviction.
- Co-defendant or co-conspirator may be held jointly liable for the entire amount of the loss.
Michigan’s Crime Victim’s Rights Act contains a plethora of laws that require the court and prosecutor to allow a victim to participate in the criminal proceedings. This means that the victim has the right to submit or make a written or oral impact statement to the probation department and to the court. Other rights include the victim’s right to claim restitution for damage to property or for personal injuries, including psychological injuries.Convicted of a Crime? Insurance may not Provide you with any Protection!
Typically, a person an accident is protected from personal liability to the extent of applicable homeowner’s or motor vehicle insurance coverage. However, some insurance policies contain criminal acts exclusions that exclude coverage for any claim arising out of a criminal act. Other policies may deny any coverage only when a criminal act was committed with intent to cause harm. Should the insurance coverage of a party convicted of a criminal offense or drunk driving case be denied or insufficient to satisfy the victim’s claim, the court may order payment of restitution to any victims arising out of the criminal conduct.Restitution is Almost Always an Issue in Certain Criminal Cases
Restitution may be ordered in any criminal case when a victim claims damage to property or personal injuries. Personal injury crimes, such as assault or domestic violence, may not necessarily involve any actual injury or loss to the alleged victim. However, when a victim suffers a personal or psychological injury, he or she may claim restitution for items such as medical expenses, lost wages and prescriptions.
Property crimes or those that involve economic losses (embezzlement, false pretenses, malicious destruction of property) will also entail the component of restitution. Restitution is not limited to the amount of economic loss and also may include related expenses for outside accounting and inventory costs. When the aggregate amount of losses for economic crimes, such as embezzlement or retail fraud, is $1,000.00 or more, a person is subject to felony charges which can carry up to 5 years in prison or longer depending upon the amount of property loss.
Video Surveillance and Retail Fraud: Lately we are seeing restitution ordered in retail fraud cases which occur at big retail stores where an offender’s sessions at the retail establishment can be tracked by his or her membership card activity. When an offender is suspected of retail fraud, surveillance videos are obtained. The in-store-videos may reveal shoplifting, price switching or inappropriate u-scan transactions over a long period of time in which restitution will be claimed. Each offense may be charged separately, or the prosecutor may opt to pursue a felony charge when the aggregate amount of multiple transactions is $1,000.00 or more.
ABDO LAW knows how to navigate the Michigan victim’s rights and restitution laws in criminal cases. Even in cases that involve substantial restitution claims, we have been able to negotiate favorable plea deals, such as reducing felony charges to a misdemeanor.
Contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers if you are being investigated or charged with any criminal case. We have been get troublesome cases under control and are often able to turn things around by getting criminal charges dismissed, reduced, avoiding jail and other harsh consequences which can occur in the criminal system.