The justice system depends greatly on making people pay for their crimes. Restitution is a way to make people for their crimes in a more literal form. People who commit a certain crime that brings financial loss towards another person must pay it back. The judge might ask them to pay off the financial loss they caused to the victim. Medical expenses and compensation are a type of restitution paid by the defendant to the victim.
There is a major difference between restitution and a fine. A fine is paid to the government as a punitive damage to punish the offender. The fine is a way to keep people from committing the specific offense. Restitution on the other hand must always be paid to the victim for any financial loss caused due to the crime committed by the defendant. However, paying the government is not always considered a fine. If the crime committed by the defendant caused financial loss to the government, the judge may ask the defendant to pay restitution to the government.
Federal and state governments have different statutes that establish the amounts of restitution a person might have to pay according to the severity of their crimes. Restitution can be in itself an alternate sentence, or be added to another sentence as further punishment.
It is advisable to hire experienced legal counsel if you seek to pay restitution for your crimes. Your attorney might be able to help you avoid more severe punishment in favor of a more convenient restitution sentence.