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Restitution Laws In Colorado – Purpose Of Restitution Orders – Part II of III

The Colorado Restitution Law and Analysis by Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer – H. Michael Steinberg

Introduction – The idea behind this type of web page article is to analyze the actual statute in Colorado – paragraph by relevant paragraph with the analysis intended to help the reader understand the law.

What IS The Reason For Ordering Restitution?

The Colorado General Assembly says the “value of restitution as a “deterrent to future criminality,” as a “mechanism for the rehabilitation of offenders,” and as compensation for the “suffering and hardship” of victims and their families. § 18-1.3-601, C.R.S. (2005).”

Restitution IS Mandatory In Colorado

As a condition of probation, trial courts must order restitution to compensate victims for “any pecuniary loss suffered by a victim:

This includes the “loss of use of money,”

and

” other losses or injuries proximately caused by an offender’s conduct and that can be reasonably calculated and recompensed in money”:

How IS Restitution Defined?  What IS Restitution In Colorado?

Restitution” means any pecuniary loss suffered by a victim, and includes but is not limited to:.

all out-of-pocket expenses,

interest,

loss of use of money,

anticipated future expenses,

rewards paid by victims,

money advanced by law enforcement agencies,

money advanced by a governmental agency for a service animal,

adjustment expenses,

and

other losses or injuries proximately caused by an offender’s conduct and that can be reasonably calculated and recompensed in money.

What Restitution Isn’t?

“Restitution” does not include:

damages for physical or mental pain and suffering,

loss of consortium,

loss of enjoyment of life,

loss of future earnings,

or

punitive damages.

§ 18-1.3-602(3)(a), C.R.S. § 18-1.3-205, C.R.S.

The Colorado State Legislature Sets Out The Purposes of Ordering Restitution

C.R.S. 18-1.3-601 (2011)

18-1.3-601. Legislative declaration

(1) The general assembly finds and declares that:

(a) Crime victims endure undue suffering and hardship resulting from physical injury, emotional and psychological injury, or loss of property;

(b) Persons found guilty of causing such suffering and hardship should be under a moral and legal obligation to make full restitution to those harmed by their misconduct;

(c) The payment of restitution by criminal offenders to their victims is a mechanism for the rehabilitation of offenders;

(d) Restitution is recognized as a deterrent to future criminality;

(e) An effective criminal justice system requires timely restitution to victims of crime and to members of the immediate families of such victims in order to lessen the financial burdens inflicted upon them, to compensate them for their suffering and hardship, and to preserve the individual dignity of victims;

(f) Former procedures for restitution assessment, collection, and distribution have proven to be inadequate and inconsistent from case to case;

(g) The purposes of this part 6 are to facilitate:

(I) The establishment of programs and procedures to provide for and collect full restitution for victims of crime in the most expeditious manner; and

(II) The effective and timely assessment, collection, and distribution of restitution requires the cooperation and collaboration of all criminal justice agencies and departments.

(2) It is the intent of the general assembly that restitution be ordered, collected, and disbursed to the victims of crime and their immediate families. Such restitution will aid the offender in reintegration as a productive member of society. This part 6 shall be liberally construed to accomplish all such purposes.

Some Important Definitions of Legal Terms Used In Restitution Hearings – and Court Orders

(1) “Collections investigator” means a person employed by the judicial department whose primary responsibility is to administer, enforce, and collect on court orders or judgments entered with respect to fines, fees, restitution, or any other accounts receivable of the court, judicial district, or judicial department.

(2) “Conviction” means a verdict of guilty by a judge or jury or a plea of guilty or nolo contendere that is accepted by the court for a felony, misdemeanor, petty offense, or traffic misdemeanor offense, or adjudication for an offense that would constitute a criminal offense if committed by an adult. “Conviction” also includes having received a deferred judgment and sentence or deferred adjudication; except that a person shall not be deemed to have been convicted if the person has successfully completed a deferred sentence or deferred adjudication.

(2.3) “Money advanced by a governmental agency for a service animal” means costs incurred by a peace officer, law enforcement agency, fire department, fire protection district, or governmental search and rescue agency for the veterinary treatment and disposal of a service animal that was harmed while aiding in official duties and for the training of an animal to become a service animal to replace a service animal that was harmed while aiding in official duties, as applicable.

(3) (a) “Restitution” means any pecuniary loss suffered by a victim and includes but is not limited to all out-of-pocket expenses, interest, loss of use of money, anticipated future expenses, rewards paid by victims, money advanced by law enforcement agencies, money advanced by a governmental agency for a service animal, adjustment expenses, and other losses or injuries proximately caused by an offender’s conduct and that can be reasonably calculated and recompensed in money. “Restitution” does not include damages for physical or mental pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of future earnings, or punitive damages.

(b) “Restitution” may also include extraordinary direct public and all private investigative costs.

(c) (I) “Restitution” shall also include all costs incurred by a government agency or private entity to:

(A) Remove, clean up, or remediate a place used to manufacture or attempt to manufacture a controlled substance or which contains a controlled substance or which contains chemicals, supplies, or equipment used or intended to be used in the manufacturing of a controlled substance;

(B) Store, preserve, or test evidence of a controlled substance violation; or

(C) Sell and provide for the care of and provision for an animal disposed of under the animal cruelty laws in accordance with part 2 of article 9 of this title or article 42 of title 35, C.R.S.

(II) Costs under this paragraph (c) shall include, but are not limited to, overtime wages for peace officers or other government employees, the operating expenses for any equipment utilized, and the costs of any property designed for one-time use, such as protective clothing.

(3.5) “Service animal means any animal, the services of which are used to aid the performance of official duties by a peace officer, law enforcement agency, fire department, fire protection district, or governmental search and rescue agency.

(4) (a) Victim” means any person aggrieved by the conduct of an offender and includes but is not limited to the following:

(I) Any person against whom any felony, misdemeanor, petty, or traffic misdemeanor offense has been perpetrated or attempted;

(II) Any person harmed by an offender’s criminal conduct in the course of a scheme, conspiracy, or pattern of criminal activity;

(III) Any person who has suffered losses because of a contractual relationship with, including but not limited to an insurer, or because of liability under section 14-6-110, C.R.S., for a person described in subparagraph (I) or (II) of this paragraph (a);

(IV) Any victim compensation board that has paid a victim compensation claim;

(V) If any person described in subparagraph (I) or (II) of this paragraph (a) is deceased or incapacitated, the person’s spouse, parent, legal guardian, natural or adopted child, child living with the victim, sibling, grandparent, significant other, as defined in section 24-4.1-302 (4), C.R.S., or other lawful representative;

(VI) Any person who had to expend resources for the purposes described in subparagraph (I) of paragraph (c) of subsection (3) of this section.

(b) “Victim” shall not include a person who is accountable for the crime or a crime arising from the same conduct, criminal episode, or plan as defined under the law of this state or of the United States.

(c) Any “victim” under the age of eighteen is considered incapacitated, unless that person is legally emancipated or the court orders otherwise.

(d) It is the intent of the general assembly that this definition of the term “victim” shall apply to this part 6 and shall not be applied to any other provision of the laws of the state of Colorado that refers to the term “victim”.


Other Articles of Interest:

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___________________________
H. Michael Steinberg Esq.
Attorney and Counselor at Law
The Colorado Criminal Defense Law Firm of H. Michael Steinberg
A Denver, Colorado Lawyer Focused Exclusively On
Colorado Criminal Law For Over 30 Years.
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