Articles Tagged with Restitution

In many instances a victim pursues a criminal case with vigor and determination to receive justice, and will stop at nothing to have his or her position heard and advanced.  In Michigan a victim has an absolute right to be heard, informed, and consulted with as to the prosecution of the Defendant.  A victim has a right to hire a lawyer to advocate on his or her behalf.

On many occasions a victim regrets the decision to involve law enforcement with an argument or dispute that arose with a wife, husband, fiancée , mother, father, son, daughter, other family member, or friend.  In most cases in Michigan the position of the Prosecutor or city attorney is that they represent the People of the community, and protect the community in general from harms or disturbances of the peace.  A criminal case is never entitled the name of the victim versus the name of the Defendant – it is always the People or City versus the Defendant.  Even when the victim strongly tells the Prosecutor and police that they wish for the matter to be dismissed, the desire of the victim is often not followed.

When a victim’s position is contrary to the Prosecution and police, this is a good time to retain an experienced lawyer.  Victims are often met with disrespect and threats of what will happen if he or she fails to cooperate with the prosecution of the case. The Court itself will sometimes try to place pressure on the victim and the Defendant by establishing stringent bond conditions, such as no contact between the Defendant and the victim with a delay before the next Court hearing.  A no contact provision can create a real hardship, often causing monetary (such as the cost for the Defendant to live in a hotel or elsewhere), emotional, and child care issues.

Restitution in Michigan is a victim’s Constitutional right and mandatory. It cannot be excluded through a plea bargain or sentencing agreement. It is only awarded if the Defendant is convicted of a criminal allegation related to his or her conduct that gave rise to the restitution.  Restitution even survives the death of the Defendant, and can be pursued against his or her estate. Under Michigan law, the Prosecutor is required to provide information to a victim concerning restitution. The Sentencing Court must order the Defendant to make full restitution as required by law to any victim of the Defendant’s course of conduct that gives rise to the conviction, or to the victim’s estate.

A victim is defined as an individual who suffers direct or threatened physical, financial, or emotional harm as the result of the commission of a crime, juvenile offense, or misdemeanor. A victim also include companies, corporations, government entities, or any other legal entity that suffers a direct physical or financial harm as the result of a crime, juvenile offense, or a misdemeanor. A person who was charged with offenses arising out of the same transaction as the charged levied against the Defendant is not considered to be a victim.
Restitution can be expensive.  For any criminal case in which a large amount of restitution may be an issue, it is recommended that you retain attorney Daniel Hilf of the law firm of Hilf & Hilf, PLC.
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