E.H. v. Honorable Dan SlaytonAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court held that the practice of placing a cap on the amount of restitution a defendant may be liable for in a plea agreement, without the victim's consent, violates the right to restitution.
In State v. Lukens, 151 Ariz. 502 (1986), State v. Phillips, 152 Airz. 533 (1987), and State v. Crowder, 155 Ariz. 477 (1987), the Supreme Court held that a specific amount of restitution or a cap is necessary for a defendant to make a voluntary and intelligent plea. Here, the Supreme Court overruled these former decisions, holding (1) there is no constitutional requirement to inform a defendant of a specific amount of restitution or to cap the amount of restitution that a court may order; and (2) the change will apply prospectively. Further, the Court held that a lawyer representing a victim has a presumptive right to sit in the well of the courtroom during a hearing involving a victim's constitutional or statutory right, subject to the physical limitations of a courtroom or other trial exigencies.
In the instant case, the Supreme Court vacated the cap on restitution available to the victim.