In any criminal matter, the potential to be on the hook for payment of juvenile restitution is there. Restitution is, simply put, money paid by a defendant to a victim to compensate them for losses incurred as a result of the crime committed. In an adult criminal matter, only the defendant is possibly liable for restitution. In juvenile court, the juvenile restitution defendant and his parents/guardians are potentially liable to make restitution payments.
Juvenile Restitution – The Statute
How Much Will Be Owed?
The court will require that restitution be paid in an amount to compensate for any damage or loss caused by the child’s offense in a reasonable amount or manner as determined by the court. For property loss, a court will generally consider the original purchase price, manner of use, general condition at time of loss, and depreciation. Expert testimony as to fair market value at the time of the loss can also aid in this determination.
Additionally, the child and parents will only be liable for those damages which were caused by the crime. In lawyer speak, the prosecution must prove by competent, substantial evidence a causal relationship between the underlying charged offense and the restitution damages sought. S.S. v. State, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D2769a (Fla. 5th DCA 2018).
In S.S., the trial court awarded over $3,600 in restitution to the victim for damage to her vehicle. The child had pled to Trespass of a Conveyance. At the hearing, the State only proved that the child drove the vehicle for a short period of time and slept in the vehicle for an hour at most. The appellate court ruled that the State failed to prove how this trespass caused the extensive damage to the sunroof and overhead console of the vehicle. As such, the Court reversed the award of restitution to the victim.
Consideration of Ability to Pay
Lastly, even if the court properly determines the amount of juvenile restitution from an economic loss to the victim standpoint, the court must still determine whether the child and parent(s) have the ability to pay the restitution amount. In adult court, consideration of ability to pay is only a defense during an enforcement proceeding, not a consideration in the determination of the amount owed. Furthermore, the burden is on the State to prove the ability to pay. M.P. v. State, 43 Fla. L. Weekly D2193a (Fla. 2d DCA 2018).
Call The Banter Firm!
As you can see, The Bantner Firm is well-qualified to handle your juvenile delinquency matter. You need someone on your side who can ensure that no more restitution is paid than is legally required. Call us today at 813.397.3965 for your free consultation!
Adam Bantner – Criminal Defense Attorney at Law
If you are in need of an expert criminal defense attorney specializing in legal defense against DUI, traffic, criminal, violent crime charges, or a personal injury – you’ll find it here.
Adam L. Bantner, II is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney representing those accused of crimes in Hillsborough and Polk counties. He is the Past President of the Hillsborough County Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys., is a Super Lawyers Rising Star, and AVVO rated “Superb.” Adam is a member of Valrico Law Group.
Request a Consultation
Adam Bantner, II is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Law Attorney representing those accused of crimes in Hillsborough and Polk Counties. When you are facing criminal charges, you want an expert in your corner. The Florida Bar has recognized Adam as an expert criminal defense attorney.
I have been defending the accused since 2006 and am Past President of the Hillsborough County Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.
I have tried over 30 jury trials, on charges ranging from driving on a suspended license to murder.
In addition, I am a Brandon personal injury attorney. If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, give me a call to see how we can help!
I approach each case on the principle that every client deserves zealous representation, with attention to detail and to their individualized needs. My mission is to get the best possible result for every client, in every case, every time. Give me a call to see how I can assist you to get the best results in your case. I are here to help.