On this page:
·What is Restitution?
·Do I have to repay all of the restitution in the Provisional Order for Restitution?
·What can the Tribunal take into account in reducing the amount payable?
·Is the amount sought ‘fair’?
·Do Time Limits Apply?
·What if I am in prison?
What is Restitution?
Compensation is awarded to victims of certain “acts of violence”. Restitution is the process of recovering money from the offender.
Do I have to repay all of the restitution in the Provisional Order for Restitution?
No. It is possible to negotiate the amount to be repaid. Nyman Gibson Miralis regularly assist people with this process. In some cases, we have had the amount of restitution reduced to nil. We have never failed to achieve a reduction in the amount of restitution to be paid.
Payment can be made by lump sum or by interest free instalments after negotiation between our lawyer acting on your behalf and the Victims Compensation Tribunal representative. Remember – we will only ever negotiate upon your instructions – you get the final word on whether or not to accept the deal, or take it to hearing.
What can the Tribunal take into account in reducing the amount payable?
The main issue is the financial circumstances of the ‘debtor’. Financial circumstances include income as well as outgoings or liabilities. If you are in a relationship, joint financial circumstances are taken into account.
Other factors include the offenders age at the time of the offence. We recently acted for a person charged with sexual assault more than 20 years ago. The original amount of restitution sought was $35,000 – however after presenting the matter properly we were able to reduce that amount to less than $5,000 – a saving of over $30,000.
Factors also include:
·whether other persons were charged or convicted of the same offence giving rise to compensation;
·culpability for the victim’s injuries
·any other relevant issue – which can include for example future liabilities, prospects of employment, health issues involving yourself or a dependent person
Is the amount sought ‘fair’?
The process of awarding compensation does not involve consultation with the offender. The Tribunal might not be aware of factual amendments, concessions by the prosecutor or comments made by the Magistrate or Judge that may affect culpability.
Therefore the offender might not perceive the amount awarded to be fair.
Nyman Gibson Miralis has the experience of seasoned criminal defence lawyers and accredited criminal law specialists to take these factors into account when preparing to take Restitution matter to a Restitution Hearing or to attempt to achieve a negotiated outcome.
Do Time Limits Apply?
Yes. Any objection to the Provisional Order for Restitution must be made within 28 days. We will assist you in completing the formal Notice of Objection. It is important to list the appropriate and correct grounds for objection when completing the form.
What if I am in prison?
The Notice of Objection must still be filed. The Tribunal will generally ‘stay’ the proceedings until after your release. People released from prison sometimes have little or no assets and difficulty in obtaining a job. These reasons may be of assistance in reducing the amount of restitution payable, in addition to other reasons that may exist.
If you need advice from a criminal defence lawyer, contact one of our criminal law specialists immediately at either our Sydney or our Parramatta offices. Call 1800 NOT GUILTY or fill in our contact form on this page and arrange a free conference with a solicitor today. Contact our specialists right now! 24-hour legal advice 7 days a week.