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Criminal Restitution Guidelines in Plea Agreement - Ethical Questions

Greenfield, IN |

Are there Ethical Guidelines on Restitution that a Prosecutor can ask for in a Plea Agreement? If so, can a Prosecutor be repremanded Ethically if they ask for restitution in a plea agreement that is beyond those guidelines? I was involved in a situation where a Prosecutor was asking for Civil additions which were in dispute of large sums of money which had nothing to do with a Check Fraud Case Charge along with Large Civil Legal Fees which were not necessary to for them to prosecute the case. As well as interest rate of 18% which is 10% above the legal rate. It amounted to well over $30,000 in additional restitution above the check amount with legal interest. Is this a violation of Ethics by the prosecutor requiring these large sums of money in the plea agreement? Are there guidelines for restitution in a criminal plea agreement, and if so where are the guidelines that a prosecutor has for restitution in a criminal plea agreement printed?

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Attorney answers 2


This question has been asked before, just worded slightly differently.

Restitution must be related to the consequences of the criminal action. They cannot be speculative and must be calculable. There may be future restitution to compensate for future damages consequential form the criminal acts.

Prosecutors are bound by ethical standards applicable to all lawyers. In your state, there may be judicial officer standards as well.


I am a little cautious in answering because it is hard to know what the prosecutor is basing their decision on. But, as long as the prosecutor is not abusing their position, they can ask for the restitution they deem appropriate. The JUDGE is a safe guard and your attorney can ask the judge to modify the plea agreement if it is infact unfair.