Phoenix, AZ asked in Criminal Law, Family Law and Civil Rights for Arizona

Q: Is there a way to open a civil case to be reimbursed by my codefendant for half of the restitution I solely paid in full

I was involved and charged in a case in 2016 that led to a large sum of joint and several restitution between my codefendant and I. I had just turned 18 and was charged as adult, meanwhile my codefendant was 17 and was charged as a juvenile. In turn they were essentially "let off the hook" and effed off, leaving me to pay the restitution in full. What I'm wondering is if there is any way for me to open a civil dispute/case against them to be reimbursed for half of the total restitution I solely paid. I made monthly payments on time during the entire duration of my probation and paid off the remainder in full before I completed it. I appreciate any help anyone can offer. Thanks. I'm in Yavapai County.

2 Lawyer Answers
Zachary Divelbiss
Zachary Divelbiss
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: This is a question we get asked quite frequently. Who you really need to ask is a civil litigation attorney but their answer is likely going to be that you will not have a successful lawsuit against the other party.

The unfortunately reason that you will be held responsible to pay everything in full is because you agreed in your plea agreement that you would pay full restitution whether you caused the harm or not or whether the co-defendant pays or not. This is standard language in most cases because the plea is suppose to help the victim get paid their restitution and the courts don't particularly care who pays it as long as it gets paid.

Now, the fact that your co-defendant did not have to pay anything or very little is unfair. You could attempt to sue them in civil court with a civil attorney. However, there is nothing in either of your plea agreements that says you will both split the cost of restitution. Additionally, your plea agreement is with the State of Arizona and not the co-defendant, so there really isn't any kind of agreement showing that your co-defendant owes you any money for the restitution you paid.

If you wish to talk more about this or want a civil attorney who might be able to help you further, please let me know and I can get you in touch. Zach@Divellaw.com 480-935-6545

Arnab Kumar Banerjee
Arnab Kumar Banerjee
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • kolkata, west bengal

A: Why they let of your co defendant ? Can you know it ? Both of you are booked on the same crime but you have to pay and others are released. Why ?

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