What Is Restitution?

In addition to any fine, a defendant may be compelled to pay restitution to any victim of the defendant’s crime. N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3. The amount of restitution may not exceed the victim’s loss, except in cases of failure to pay any state, where the amount of restitution is the full amount of the tax evaded or avoided, plus civil penalties and interest as provided by law. Id. Restitution may be ordered regardless of whether the defendant personally derived any pecuniary benefit from his or her crime, as long as the victim suffered a loss and the defendant is able, or given a fair opportunity, will be able to pay restitution. N.J.S.A. 2C:44-2b; State v. Paone, 290 N.J. Super. 494, 496 (App. Div. 1996). In setting the amount of restitution or a fine, the court must consider the defendant’s current and future financial circumstances. State v. Newman, 132 N.J. 159, 179 (1993); State v. Ferguson, 273 N.J. Super. 486, 499 (App. Div.), certif. denied, 138 N.J. 265 (1994); N.J.S.A. 2C:44-2c(1),c(2).

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