Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Utah
Criminal Defense Attorney Stephen Howard
Call Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah
Call Utah Criminal Lawyer
Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys / Former Prosecutors
Call 801-449-1409. We fight to protect your rights.
Utah Criminal Defense Lawyer Salt Lake City

Criminal Defense Solutions Start HereSM

Finding a Felony Defense LawyerChoosing a Misdemeanor Defense LawyerDrug and Alcohol Crimes Defense LawyerWhite Collar Defense Attorney for Utah ChargesAttorney for Expungements Reductions and PardonsDefendant Constitutional Rights Criminal LawyerBail and Bond Alternatives in UtahReasons for Hope Facing Criminal Charges

Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Restitution

Complete Restitution or Court-Ordered Restitution

Utah's Crime Victim's Restoration Act makes a distinction between "complete" restitution and "court-ordered" restitution. Under Utah Code section 77-38a-302, complete restitution is the total amount determined by the court that is necessary to compensate a victim for damage or loss caused by the defendant. Court-ordered restitution is the amount ordered by the court to actually be paid by the defendant as part of a sentencing order. The two amounts are not necessarily the same.

Complete Restitution in a Utah Criminal Case

White Collar Criminal Defense in UtahIn determining complete restitution, a Utah court is required by law to consider "all relevant facts." The Utah code section setting forth restitution criteria specifically requires the court to consider property damage or loss, medical or other professional services relating to physical or mental health care, physical or occupational therapy and rehabilitation, income loss (only if the offense resulted in bodily injury to the victim), and up to five days of the victims determinable wages (only if the lost wages were due to theft or damage to tools or equipment items of a trade that were owned by the victim that were essential to the victim's employment at the time of the offense).

Court-Ordered Restitution in a Utah Criminal Case

In addition to the factors required to determine complete restitution, Utah Code section 77-38a-302 also requires a court to consider the following factors in determining court-ordered restitution: the rehabilitative effect on the defendant of the payment of restitution; the financial resources of the defendant; the burden that payment of restitution will impose on the defendant; the ability of the defendant to pay restitution on an installment basis or on other conditions ordered by the court; and any "other circumstances that the the court determines may make restitution inappropriate."

Restitution and Probation in Utah

When a court places a defendant on probation in a criminal, it is standard practice to require payment of restitution as a condition of probation. In deciding how much and on what terms restitution must be paid, the court is required to consider the above-noted factors in determining court-ordered restitution. But the court also may consider the defendant's ability to pay restitution in determining whether to grant probation. As an example, consider the following hypothetical case:

John is charged with and convicted of communications fraud. At the sentencing hearing, the court determines that "complete restitution" necessary to compensate the victim for his loss is $150,000. John does not have cash or other assets immediately available to pay that amount of restitution, but he does have a job that would allow him to make monthly restitution payments of at least $5,000. At the sentencing hearing, the prosecutor argues that because of the large amount of money involved in the fraud, John deserves to be sent to prison. John's criminal defense attorney argues that giving John a chance at probation allows him to make substantial payments toward making the victim whole.

The court in this hypothetical is required to try to balance competing interests. Punishment, deterrence, and incapacitation of a criminal are all interests that have been recognized as legitimate goals of the judicial system. But Utah court's have also recognized the importance of trying to make a victim whole again.

On the one hand, John's criminal fraud caused significant losses to the victim. Punishing John with a prison sentence could send a message to other potential criminals that such conduct will not be tolerated. Sending John to prison will also (at least in theory) prevent him from committing other frauds for the time that he is in prison.

On the other hand, putting John on probation and requiring a substantial monthly restitution payment would go a long way to making the victim whole. At a payment rate of $5,000 per month, over a period of 36 months (a typical length for felony probation), John would be able to pay $180,000 - more than enough to pay off the full $150,000 restitution amount (even at an interest rate of 10%).

Utah's appellate courts have traditionally given sentencing courts wide discretion in determining a appropriate sentences. A defendant's ability to pay restitution is just one of many factors that can be considered by a court in determining whether to grant or deny a defendant's request for probation.

Choosing a Criminal Defense Attorney in Utah

Utah Criminal Defense LawyerHaving an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side can be critical to achieving a positive outcome in your Utah criminal case. With experience ranging from aggravated murder to white collar crime, and from drug possession to DUI, Utah criminal lawyer Stephen Howard has assisted clients in obtaining favorable outcomes in literally thousands of serious felony and misdemeanor cases. If you are facing criminal prosecution, contact us today to arrange for an initial consultation.

RELATED CRIMINAL DEFENSE QUESTIONS


Best Rating
Make a Payment to Your Account
Get Help Now
Name: Email: Phone: Describe your legal needs here:
I accept the disclaimer below.
Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is established by the use of this form. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be submitted through this form. By clicking 'submit' I am only requesting that I be contacted for the purpose of obtaining legal services.

This form protected by reCAPTCHA.

  • Selected Victories
  • Criminal Defense AttorneyDismissed - Contractor was charged with theft by deception for allegedly misusing customer funds and failing to complete work that had been agreed upon. A successful motion to quash on legal grounds following the bindover order at preliminary hearing resulted in a complete dismissal of all charges.
  • Criminal Appeals Defense AttorneyDismissed on Appeal - DUI case was dismissed after a successful appeal where the Utah Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's denial of the defense motion to suppress. Without the suppressed evidence, the prosecutor acknowledged that they did not have sufficient evidence to proceed to trial and the case was dismissed.
  • Utah 402 Reduction Attorney Felony Reduced - Client with prior felony conviction was granted a 402 reduction to the misdemeanor level over the objection of the prosecutor. Based on information provided to the court in support of the defense motion, the judge ruled in favor of the defense.
  • Utah Burglary Attorney Dismissal - Client was charged with first-degree felony home burglary and facing potential life in prison. Defense analysis revealed flaws in prosecutor's case which led to abeyance agreement intended to lead to a full dismissal of the case.
  • Recent Posts
  • What to Do When Arrested for DUI What should I do if I am arrested for DUI? - Many DUI cases begin as minor traffic stops. But the consequences of a DUI conviction are much more serious than an ordinary traffic citation. If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI, you have specific important constitutional and statutory rights that can protect your. . . .
  • Utah Statewide Warrant Search How do I find out if I have an outstanding warrant? - If you believe you may have an outstanding arrest warrant in Utah, a criminal defense attorney can access the Utah statewide warrant system and help you find the best. . . .
Best Criminal Defense Strategy

The best outcome is more likely when the right strategy is employed. Developing the best strategy can require real courtroom experience, a thorough understanding of procedural and substantive legal issues, and a determination to ensure that important constitutional and other legal rights are protected. Choosing the right attorney....

Strategy »
Salt Lake Criminal Defense Attorney Profile Utah

Our criminal defense lawyers have represented clients facing some of the most serious felony charges on the books in Utah. Whether you are facing prosecution for felony or misdemeanor charges, you can be assured that our attorneys have the experience, knowledge, and determination necessary to help you achieve the results you need. Choosing the best defense attorney for your case will be one of the most important decisions you make....

Experience »
Conviction Consequences - Utah Criminal Defense

Even a "minor" misdemeanor carries the potential for jail time and significant fines. The direct penalties and collateral consequences of a felony conviction are even more severe. Understanding these consequences is critical as you make decisions relating to your case. Even in a misdemeanor case, you should not....

Consequences »
Utah Criminal Defense Attorney - Hope

Facing criminal prosecution in Utah can feel like your world is collapsing. But there are reasons to remain hopeful, and there are things you can do right now that can help increase the odds of a successful outcome. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the various options you have, and can help you....

Reasons to Hope »
Home | Attorney Profile | Case Results | Criminal Code | FAQ | Legal Resources | Defense Strategy | Contact Us

Serving Salt Lake, Davis, Weber, Utah, Cache, Tooele, Summit, Box Elder, and Wasatch Counties, and all of Utah.

Attorney Stephen Howard practices as part of the Canyons Law Group, LLC and Stephen W. Howard, PC.

Offices in Salt Lake and Davis Counties
560 South 300 East, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
952 S. Main St., Suite A, Layton, UT 84041

Call now to arrange for a confidential initial consultation with an experienced and effective Utah criminal defense lawyer.

In Salt Lake City, call 801-449-1409.
In Davis County, call 801-923-4345.

Stephen W. Howard, PC

The materials in this website are intended for informational purposes only, and are not legal advice. Viewing or responding to materials in this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. Read Full Disclaimer.