Avoiding a prison sentence through restitution

Criminal offenses such as DUI Manslaughter almost always include a civil lawsuit seeking damages from the offenders insurance company. In many instances however, the maximum policy limits do not fully compensate the victim’s family. Sometimes the offender didn’t carry automobile insurance at all.

Establishing that restitution to the victim outweighs the need for a prison sentence

Under Florida Statute § 921.0026, the judge can consider during a motion for a downward departure that the need for payment of restitution to the victim outweighs the need for a prison sentence.

A defendant serving a mandatory prison sentence obviously will not be able to make restitution payments to the victim’s family. Where this is an issue, the victims loved ones may be willing to testify that a defendant would better serve them on probation where they can work and make amortized payments over the length of their probationary sentence.

Negotiate with the attorney representing the family

Discussing options with the civil attorney representing the victim’s family may provide an avenue for a criminal defense attorney to file a motion for downward departure and either avoid or reduce the time of incarceration sentence. At the very least effort should be made to communicate with counsel for the victims loved ones to determine if this may be a viable option.

For more information about this article contact attorney William Moore at 954-523-5333

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