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Restitution: The Realities

The Arizona Constitution provides that crime victims are “to receive prompt restitution from the person or persons convicted of the criminal conduct that caused the victim’s loss or injury.”

Restitution is most often ordered at the time of sentencing and may include reimbursement for:

  • medical expenses
  • mental health counseling
  • funeral costs
  • expenses to restore physical safety
  • lost or damaged property
  • lost wages
  • travel expenses

When determining the total amount of restitution, the Court is required by law to consider all of the victim’s economic losses that resulted from the crime for which the defendant was convicted.

The judge is also required to consider the defendant’s ability to pay when establishing a payment schedule, usually with monthly payments. The defendant pays the County’s Clerk of Court, who then disburses the money to victims.

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