St. Joseph Michigan Criminal Defense Blog

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What Prosecution Must Prove for Criminal Restitution to Be Necessary

Criminal Restitution

When someone is convicted of a crime, criminal restitution (monetary compensation) may be awarded to the victims. Whether the amount owed is determined at sentencing or at a hearing after the trial ends, these costs must be paid by the defendant under Michigan law. However, there is a clear threshold for the prosecution to prove. Here is how a talented criminal lawyer in Michigan can help if there are excessive restitution demands following a guilty verdict.

Reasonable Factual Basis

The appeals court came to its ruling in People v. Corbin (No. 319122), determining that a defendant was required to pay restitution to only one of two parties because there was no conviction related to the second party. Only in the case of “conduct that gives rise to the conviction” would a defendant be required to pay damages to that party.

In other words, restitution may only be awarded when a direct impact can be proven under the law, or what the court referred to as a “reasonable” factual basis. Since this ruling sets a bar that the prosecution must reach, the defense lawyer’s skill and experience often comes into play in determining the amount of compensation.

When a qualified criminal lawyer sees this reasonable factual basis unproven by the prosecution, the attorney will fight for a client’s right to avoid excessive restitution fees. The important thing to remember in cases involving restitution is these costs are often paid for many years.

In addition to medical fees or costs related to psychotherapy, defendants are often forced to pay future medical costs and lost wages. Sometimes, the amount may increase if needs of the victims arise and the judge agrees they fall under the reasonable basis threshold.

Only an experienced criminal lawyer in Michigan can protect your rights during and after a trial. For honest and aggressive defense, trust Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC to fight for your rights in court. For further information or to schedule a consultation with one of our highly successful criminal lawyers please contact us at 269.982.1100 or visit

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