Restitution Juvenile Offenders In Arizona
In Arizona, the purpose of restitution is rehabilitation of the offender and reparation to the victim of the crime. State v. Iniguez, 169 Ariz. 533, 536, 821 P.2d 194, 197 (App. 1991).
Restitution is proper if evidence "reasonably leads to the inference that juvenile's criminal conduct was related to victim's damages." Maricopa County Juv. Action No. JV-132905, 186 Ariz. 607, 609, 925 P.2d 748, 750 (App. 1996); State v. Lindsley, 191 Ariz. 195, 198, 953 P.2d 1248, 1251 (App. 1997) ("Recoverable economic losses are those that flow directly from or are a direct result of the crime committed.").
Juvenile can be ordered to pay restitution for losses directly caused by his criminal conduct even where the conduct which caused such losses was not an element for which he was adjudicated delinquent. State v. Wilkinson, 202 Ariz. 27, 30, PP14-15, 39 P.3d 1131, 1134 (2002); Lindsley, 191 Ariz. at 197, 953 P.2d at 1250 (although defendant was not charged with theft "the trial court could reasonably infer from the evidence that the damage to the wallet was the direct result of defendant's unlawful possession of it").
The Court upholds restitution awards if they bear "a reasonable relationship to the victim's loss." Id.
In a similar case, JV-132905, the juvenile admitted to theft of a car and acknowledged responsibility for restitution pursuant to a plea agreement. 186 Ariz. at 608, 925 P.2d at 749.
When the victim submitted evidence of damages, that juvenile asserted the car had sustained the damages prior to his possession of it. Id.
The court awarded restitution for the victim's claimed damages even though no direct evidence was submitted to controvert the juvenile's assertion. Id. at 608-09, 925 P.2d at 749-50.
On appeal, we affirmed that trial court's restitution award "because the loss suffered by the victim could have been inferred to have been caused by juvenile's admitted criminal conduct, because no credible evidence was submitted by juvenile to refute this inference, and because juvenile agreed to pay restitution for losses relative to his criminal conduct." Id. at 609, 925 P.2d at 750.