Criminal Defense in Orange County

Restitution and Probation

In many criminal cases, a defendant is ordered to pay restitution as a condition of probation. Restitution is the act of making good any loss suffered by a victim. Although the state usually charges a restitution fee, this goes to the state restitution fund. For the purposes of the present discussion, restitution will refer to monies paid directly to the individual victim(s).

Many people think that any restitution not paid back during the course of probation does not have to be paid back. This is not necessarily true. The court is authorized under section 1203.2 of the penal code to revoke a person's probation in the interest of justice, if the court has reason to believe there is a willful failure to pay restitution. Note, this can only happen if the court believes that the person willfully failed to pay restitution.

If at a formal revocation hearing, it can be shown the person willfully failed to pay, the court can either sentence on a probation violation or revoke/reinstate probation and extend it past the number of years originally imposed.

It is very important to realize that once probation is extended for restitution, it is likely extended for all other original terms and conditions (e.g., don't drive with a measurable amount alcohol in your system, etc.). Additionally, since probation was revoked, it may be hard for a defendant to subsequently obtain an expungement per penal code section 1203.4.

It is important for the criminal defendant to take seriously any court-ordered restitution. Further, i believe it is important to pay it back as soon as possible so as not to fall behind and face the possibility of having probation extended.

Contact The Law Office of Barney B. Gibbs if you or a loved one has been charged with a crime. Put his 30 years of experience and knowledge to work for you.