Property Damage Restitution In Texas

Restitution for property damage is governed by article 42.037 (b). TEX. CODE CRIM. PROC. ANN. art. 42.037(b)(Vernon Supp. 2000). The statute provides the court with several options when the offense results in damage, loss, or destruction of the victim's property. The court may order the property returned to the owner, or if that is not possible, the court may order the defendant to pay for the value of the property. Id. at art. 42.037 (b)(1)(A). A restitution order for property damage is proper only when the property damage or destruction is a result of the offense. Id. at art. 42.037 (b)(1). Property damage or destruction is not necessarily a consequence of aggravated robbery. It is undisputed in this case that the property damage did not occur during the commission of the aggravated robbery. Indeed, it appears that the damage occurred during the days (and possibly weeks) following Flores' death. Since the record does not establish that the restitution is for the offense for which Lemos is criminally responsible, the trial court abused its discretion in ordering restitution in the amount of $ 20,150 for perishable goods. See Gordon v. State, 707 S.W.2d 626, 629-30 (Tex. Crim. App. 1986).