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What is the difference between restitution and a fine?

Posted by John Callahan | Mar 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

If you have been convicted of a criminal or civil crime, you most likely have been ordered to pay a fine or to pay restitution. The main distinction between a fine and restitution is that a fine is paid to the state or federal government persecuting your crime and restitution is paid directly to your victim for the economic loss you caused to them or to a crime victims fund. You can be ordered to pay both a fine and a restitution.

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Fines are typically imposed on first-time offenders and for lesser offenses and non-violent crimes, such as traffic violations and civil disobedience. On the other hand, restitution is usually imposed for serious crimes, such as damage to property or battery. Restitution is designed to compensate the victim or family members of the victim for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of your crime in an attempt to make the victim whole again. Restitution can cover medical fees, therapy, funeral costs, lost or damaged property, and lost income and wages. The court considers your financial ability to pay restitution in addition to all the losses incurred to the victim when determining how much you should pay. If you refuse to pay a fine or restitution, you could be sentenced to serve jail time. The government could seize your property and sell it at an auction, garnish your wages (if you are employed), or enforce a lien against your property.


If you are required to pay a fine or restitution, it is imperative that you call us at 1-877-335-6697 to speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Our lawyers will be able examine the charges you are facing to determine whether the fine or restitution is appropriate for your offense, in addition to determining whether your fees may be completely waived or significantly reduced. Call us today for a free consultation.

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About the Author

John Callahan

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. You may also never get a second chance to preserve your freedom if faced with criminal or DUI charges. If you are currently facing criminal charges, contact the law offices of John W. Callahan to protect you, your rights and your freedom. ...

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