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How Does Restitution Work in Colorado?

How Does Restitution Work in Colorado?

Colorado restitution is the amount a defendant is sentenced to pay a victim due to a crime. Restitution always refers to a dollar amount rather than the pain and suffering of a victim and typically covers copays, deductibles, and the cost of replacement.

In most cases, the court collects the Colorado restitution payment and disperses it to the victim. In some cases, a victim can fill out and file a form called “Notice of Intent to

Pursue Collections by Victim” and collect restitution from the defendant on their own, meaning the court will no longer put forth efforts to collect.

How Long Does Payment Take?

For the restitution payment to be dispelled promptly, the court needs the correct address information for the victim. Then, dissemination takes about 15 days after the court receives the payment.

Colorado restitution laws state that consequences may occur if you are late on paying restitution or do not pay at all. These include:

  • Revocation of probation
  • Suspension of driver’s license
  • Garnishment of wages/taxes
  • Implementation of property liens
  • Being subject to accrued interest

Making An Appeal

It is possible to appeal a restitution order in Colorado via a restitution hearing. If a defendant thinks the amount of sentenced restitution is unfair, it is the prosecution’s job to prove the degree of the victim’s loss and how the defendant is linked to that loss.

A defendant arguing for a reduction due to the amount of money offset by insurance payments is commonly seen in traffic cases. In this case, it’s the defendant’s job to prove how much has already been offset.

A defendant may also bring in their evidence – the amount of money they estimate repairs and replacements would take – to show that the amount a victim is asking for in restitution is inflated.

As the Victim…

If you are a victim filing for restitution, keeping records of all expenses is essential so a judge can understand the financial impact of the crime committed against you. It is also in your best interest to fill out a Victim Impact Statement, a written statement explaining how the crime has impacted you and your finances.

As the Defendant…

If you are the defendant sentenced to pay restitution, you are responsible for paying the full amount – but it is not impossible to fight restitution. Hope is not lost.

We’re On Your Side

Whether you are a victim or a defendant amidst a restitution case, you need a Colorado criminal defense lawyer on your side. At CoLaw Team, we care about your clients – we care about you. Call us at (970) 344-9401 for a free thirty-minute consultation.