In many instances in which a person is convicted of a crime, the court will not only sentence the person to a prison term but will also order the person to pay restitution. What constitutes reasonable restitution is often disputed between the parties. This was demonstrated in a recent child pornography case in Florida in which the defendant appealed a restitution award of $10,000 to the victim. If you are accused of child pornography or any other crime, it is advisable to talk to an assertive Florida criminal defense attorney to assess your possible defenses.
Facts of the Case
It is reported that the defendant was convicted of possession of child pornography. Following his conviction, he was ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the victim of his crime. He appealed, arguing that the amount of restitution did not accurately reflect his role in the victim’s harm, and asked the court to grant him a new hearing on the restitution award. On appeal, the appellate court declined to grant the defendant’s request, affirming the lower court’s award.
Restitution in Child Pornography Cases
An appellate court will review the amount of restitution awarded in a child pornography case for an abuse of discretion. The appellate court explained that a district court would abuse its discretion by applying an improper legal standard, making clearly erroneous findings of fact, or following incorrect procedures. An appellate court will give deference to a lower court’s determination that the relevant factors, when taken as a whole, justify a restitution award, however, and will not vacate an award unless it is clear that the trial court committed an error in judgment.