More than likely your friend had better speak to an attorney or a public defender before approaching the victim, trying to strike any sort of deal with her, or even talking with her friends about her case. While her intentions might be good, it could ultimately lead to more charges or issues down the line.
Attorney Mark D. Colson
Colson Law Firm, LLC
40 Russ Street
Hartford, CT 06106
860.263.0055 - Tel
860.838.2822 - Fax
Her attorney should negotiate with the prosecutor. Restitution paid in full or the return of property in original condition, typically provided to the prosecutor or aggrieved party by defense counsel, is certainly a bargaining chip that can be used in negotiations in cases where guilt is clear. Of course, payment of restitution in advance could be seen as evidence of a guilty mind/culpability if the defendant is contesting the charges. It all depends upon the circumstances.
I've personally worked out better plea agreements and avoided excessive restitution by arranging for the return of ill gotten goods.
Under no circumstances should your friend contact the victim. First, it is likely a violation of her bail conditions and she may face bail jumping charges upon contact. Second, she may also face a charge of Intimidation of a Victim or Witness. The only person who may speak with the victim, if at all, is your friend's attorney. Restitution will likely be part of any plea deal, assuming that the item has not been returned to the victim or the item is damaged in some way, so payment can be negotiated between the prosecutor and your friend's attorney. If an agreement on restitution cannot be reached, your friend's attorney can simply schedule a restitution heasring.
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