Restitution for Criminal Offenses

Restitution for Criminal Offenses

Understanding Restitution in GA Criminal Cases

If you've been convicted of a crime in Georgia, you may be facing a court order for restitution. This means you'll be financially responsible for compensating the victim for losses caused by your actions. In this blog, we discuss what you need to understand about Georgia's restitution laws (O.C.G.A. § 17-14-3 and § 17-14-7).

What Is Restitution?

Restitution is a chance to make amends for the harm you caused. The court will determine the amount you owe the victim to cover their out-of-pocket losses, such as stolen property, medical bills, or repairs. It's a way to take financial responsibility for the impact of your crime.

Restitution Hearings & the Court's Decision

Under Georgia law (O.C.G.A. § 17-14-3), judges are required to consider restitution as part of your sentence, even if you receive probation. The court will hold a hearing (O.C.G.A. § 17-14-7) to determine the amount owed if you and the victim haven't already agreed.

What's Considered?

The determination of restitution involves several criteria. Firstly, the courts must establish the direct financial impact of the crime on the victim.

The court will consider the victim's documented losses, such as receipts or repair estimates, when determining the restitution amount. You have the opportunity to present evidence of your financial limitations, such as pay stubs or outstanding debts. The court will weigh both sides to set a fair and feasible repayment plan.

Those facing restitution payments can also submit their own repayment plan to the court. The court can then consider the financial evidence presented by both sides and approve or deny the repayment plan.

What's Not Included in Restitution?

Restitution includes, but is not limited to, lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage. However, it excludes punitive damages and compensation for pain and suffering, which are typically reserved for civil lawsuits.

Seeking Counsel

If you have questions or concerns about your restitution order, it's wise to consult with an attorney. They can explain your rights and responsibilities and help you navigate the process.

At Balbo & Gregg, Attorneys at Law, PC, we offer clients aggressive defense counsel in a range of cases, including assault and battery, drug crimes, theft crimes, domestic violence cases, sex crimes, homicide, federal crimes, and DUI offenses. We can help you understand the charges against you as well as the consequences of conviction.

Schedule an initial consultation today by calling (866) 580-3089.