What Is Restitution?
A conviction for a criminal offense—whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony—often results in jail time or imprisonment and fines. Additionally, the court can order the defendant to pay restitution to the victims of the alleged crime.
While fines and restitution are both financial costs the defendant is responsible for, the former is paid to the court as a punishment and the latter is given to the victim to repay their losses. Restitution is part of the sentence if the court considers such payment necessary for rehabilitation, to make the victim “whole” again, and to repay the victim for their financial losses.
The following parties are eligible for restitution in New Jersey:
- Victims who directly suffers injury or financial loss after the defendant committed the crime
- Indirect victims, such as the surviving family members of a victim who passed away after the defendant committed the crime
- Third parties such as insurance companies, government entities, and victim compensation programs who have provided recovery to the victim as collateral
- The government—if there are no identifiable victims of the crime
Restitution covers the victim’s medical treatment, lost wages, property damage, funeral and burial costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses. When determining the amount of restitution the victim receives, the court will take into account the victim’s losses, the severity of the crime, and the defendant’s financial resources and ability to pay.
If you have been charged with a crime in Bergen County, contact Brickfield & Donahue today at (201) 574-7919 and request a free case review.