In South Florida and many of its jurisdictions such as Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Broward County, Palm Beach County and Miami Dade County, there are many sentencing options for someone who commits a crime. The sentencing can be incarceration, fines, probation and other alternative sentences.
Many people think that restitution is a form of fines as a punishment. Actually, fines go to the State, either the federal or the local government who is the prosecutor. Restitution on the other hand is when the defendant is required by the judge, to pay a specific amount of money to the victim. Since restitution is not paid to the state, it is not considered a fine.
In most cases, defendants are required to return stolen property, or pay for medical expenses in instances of personal injury for example. In cases where the society is considered the victim, such as in fraud cases, then the defendant pays the state the money that was defrauded.
If you are being charged with a crime, and are being required to pay restitution to the victim, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney from South Florida. Call our office for a free consultation.