2020 Georgia Code
Title 17 - Criminal Procedure
Chapter 14 - Restitution and Distribution of Profits to Victims of Crimes
Article 1 - Restitution

Cross references.

- Assessment of costs in criminal cases, Uniform Superior Court Rules, Rule 36.15.

Editor's notes.

- By resolution (Ga. L. 1986, p. 1203), the General Assembly urged the judges of the superior courts to order restitution in cases involving child abuse or sexual abuse and provided for the preparation of a report regarding the use of such orders.

Law reviews.

- For note discussing dischargeability in bankruptcy of criminal restitution obligations, see 37 Mercer L. Rev. 1625 (1986). For note, "United States v. Osman: Including Future Therapy Costs in Mandatory Restitution Awards is the Growing Trend Among Circuits, but is it Wise?," see 69 Mercer L. Rev. 969 (2018).



- Former Code 1933, §§ 27-3008 - 27-3010 (see O.C.G.A. §§ 17-14-8 -17-14-10) contemplated a hearing and specific written findings by the court in determining whether the court would order restitution and the amount thereof; thus, the law does not deny the defendant's due process rights to a hearing on the damage issue. Cannon v. State, 246 Ga. 754, 272 S.E.2d 709 (1980).

Statutory provisions on restitution do not deprive a defendant of a jury trial on the question of damages contrary to Ga. Const. 1976, Art. VI, Sec. IV, Para. VII (see Ga. Const. 1983, Art. I, Sec. I, Para. XI) since this constitutional guarantee applies only to civil damage cases and does not apply to a penalty to be determined by the court in a criminal case. Cannon v. State, 246 Ga. 754, 272 S.E.2d 709 (1980).

Application of article to offenses occurring before effective date of article does not constitute application of ex post facto law since article does not affect the substantive right of restitution but is merely a more detailed enactment regarding that subject. Cannon v. State, 246 Ga. 754, 272 S.E.2d 709 (1980).

Purpose of restitution is not solely to restore the crime victim to the financial status enjoyed before the crime was committed. Other purposes include punishing and rehabilitating persons convicted of crimes and deterring others from criminal behavior. Accordingly, restitution is punishment when ordered as part of a criminal sentence. Harris v. State, 261 Ga. 859, 413 S.E.2d 439 (1992).

Order of restitution under § 42-8-35. - O.C.G.A. Art. 1, Ch. 14, T. 17 may be used to discern nature of order of restitution made under O.C.G.A. § 42-8-35. This can be done since under O.C.G.A. § 42-8-35 "restitution" is an authorized condition of probation and enactment of that article "is merely a more detailed enactment regarding restitution." Newton v. Fred Haley Poultry Farm, 15 Bankr. 708 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 1981).

Avoiding restitution by declining relief.

- Statutory scheme does not contain any provision for an unconditional order to make restitution. Thus, the offender or inmate may avoid an order to make restitution by declining the relief upon which the restitution order is conditioned. Conklin v. Zant, 202 Ga. App. 214, 413 S.E.2d 536 (1991).

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