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Restitution orders in Ohio criminal cases

In addition to jail and other penalties, a person who is accused of crimes related to embezzlement or money laundering also faces the strong possibility of being ordered to pay restitution.

For those Cincinnati residents who might not know, restitution is the name for a court order, in a criminal case, directed to a defendant and requiring him or her to pay back certain amounts to the victim of a crime. For instance, in an embezzlement case, a person convicted will be expected to repay stolen funds, so long as the victim can adequately account for them.

Restitution is not meant to be a shortcut for a civil proceeding. In fact, technically speaking, a victim does not ask for restitution at all, but the state prosecutor asks for restitution on behalf of the victim.

On the other hand, though, courts in this state do have the authority to make paying restitution a condition of probation or of participation in a community-based supervision program. This means that in the right circumstances, a defendant who chooses not to pay restitution may wind up facing additional prison time.

Even if they are admittedly guilty of embezzlement or a related crime, defendants do have certain rights with respect to restitution. For instance, they have the right to question the amount of restitution, as they should not be expected to pay more than they actually owe.

They also have the right to present evidence that they are not able to make payments despite good faith efforts to do so before a judge decides to revoke probation for failure to pay. One should speak to an experienced Ohio criminal defense lawyer with questions about how the courts of this state handle restitution.

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