Restitution Hearings in Utah Criminal Cases

Criminal cases involving claims for restitution in Utah are governed by the Crime Victims Restitution Act, U.C.A 77-38a-101. If you are convicted of a crime and there is a victim who suffered damages, you may be required by the court, or as part of a plea agreement, to compensate the victim for their loss. In some cases, restitution cannot be agreed to by the Defendant and the state so a hearing is required. At a restitution hearing, the judge will consider the following factors in making an award:

“(i)  the cost of the damage or loss if the offense resulted in damage to or loss or destruction of property of a victim of the offense;

(ii)  the cost of necessary medical and related professional services and devices relating to physical or mental health care, including nonmedical care and treatment rendered in accordance with a method of healing recognized by the law of the place of treatment;

(iii)  the cost of necessary physical and occupational therapy and rehabilitation;

(iv)  the income lost by the victim as a result of the offense if the offense resulted in bodily injury to a victim;

(v)  up to five days of the individual victim’s determinable wages that are lost due to theft of or damage to tools or equipment items of a trade that were owned by the victim and were essential to the victim’s current employment at the time of the offense; and

(vi)  the cost of necessary funeral and related services if the offense resulted in the death of a victim.”

Additionally, the court will consider the relevant financial information of the defendant including:

“(ii)  the financial resources of the defendant, as disclosed in the financial declaration;

(iii)  the burden that payment of restitution will impose, with regard to the other obligations of the defendant;

(iv)  the ability of the defendant to pay restitution on an installment basis or on other conditions to be fixed by the court;

(v)  the rehabilitative effect on the defendant of the payment of restitution and the method of payment; and

(vi)  other circumstances that the court determines may make restitution inappropriate.”

Representation for Restitution Hearings

If you are facing a restitution hearing, you should retain legal counsel familiar with the process. A restitution hearing is an evidentiary hearing in which witnesses and evidence may be presented against you or in your benefit. Do not take the process lightly. At Salcido Law Firm our team of experienced Criminal Defense Lawyers in Utah can help ensure your interests are properly represented in a restitution hearing.

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