Attorneys Reis & O'Keefe present at NH Public Defender Training

February 18, 2022: Attorneys Reis & O'Keefe presented to all NH Public Defenders on the topic of restitution. The lawyers had some great questions and it was a privilege for us to present.

Frequently, restitution is required from those who make various agreements as criminal defendants. RSA 651:62 (V) defines restitution as means, money, or service provided by the offender to compensate a victim for economic loss, or to compensate any collateral source subrogated to the rights of the victim, which indemnifies a victim for economic loss under this subdivision. RSA 651:62 (III) defines economic loss as out-of-pocket losses or other expenses incurred as a direct result of a criminal offense. Fighting restitution in criminal court is challenging because it is infrequently the top priority when one's freedom is in jeopardy and restitution-related documents often arrive late in discovery. Here are some interesting New Hampshire Supreme Court cases that address the issue.

Here are some interesting examples. In State v. Pinault, the defendant plowed down some mailboxes and was charged with DWI and conduct after an accident. Pinault was acquitted of DWI and thus, being only convicted of conduct after an accident was not obligated to pay restitution. Why? Causation. The conduct after the accident was driving away. Violation of that law did not cause any economic loss.

Is a victim entitled to restitution for installing a home security system after being burglarized? Not under the facts of State v. Moore decided in 2020. The new security system is not an economic loss. Contrarily, restitution is authorized for recommended mental health treatment of victims.