Yesterday, I explained why I had to turn down a case involving a man named Pete who was beaten while walking to his car after having just left Publix – by someone he previously knew. Pete, unfortunately, is limited to the remedy known as criminal restitution.
According to Fla. Stat. 775.089(1)(a) allows the criminal court to order a criminal to pay his/her victim money for any damage or loss caused or related to the defendant’s criminal offense. This is in addition to any other criminal punishment.
Criminal restitution, for our purposes, may pay for: any resulting monetary expense related to the victim’s property damage, physical injury, and/or death. Fla. Stat. 775.089(2)(a) further explains that this may include, among other items: medical bills, medical devices, psychological care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, funeral and related expenses (in cases of death), and loss of income (past and future) as a result of the criminal offense.
Further the statute explains that defendant may not be removed from probation or parole until the restitution is paid in full.
However, the court will look at the financial resources (current and potential future earning ability) of the defendant before ordering restitution as well. Unfortunately, the criminal will oftentimes not have the financial means to make their victim whole.