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Can a thief pay off victims to avoid trial/jail?

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by nhuman, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. So last year my house was broken into and among other things they stole my kimber tle/rlII stainless (which was in my pistol safe lag bolted to the wall). a few months later they found the kimber and some of our other stuff among a bunch of other stolen stuff. the guy that had said stuff is being charged with theft by reception.

    So this is where it gets a little wierd. The guys attorney wrote me a letter asking me if they could compensate me for the theft and any wrong doing on her clients behalf. She claims in the letter that it is above board and welcomes me to speak with the district attorney about this matter.

    So my question is, Is this actually legal, and is there an amount of money that would make it worth not helping put this guy in jail?
     
  2. WAYNO

    WAYNO Oregon City Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I was in a similar position. I was the victim in a crime, and even though I could have sued, in civil court, over and above the criminal trial, I was asked not to, by the prosecutor, as he said the victims would pay restitution. I agreed, and ended up receiving a check from the court, for restitution, totalling ten dollars. That was not a drop, compared to my loss.

    I say, NO DEAL.

    WAYNO.
     
  3. ZachS

    ZachS Eugene/PDX Active Member

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    It sounds like this guy's just trying to show he's sorry and that he wants to make up for his crimes to get some sympathy and maybe a better plea deal. His sentence will still ultimately be up to the DA/jury/judge if it gets that far.

    If it smells right to you after you talk to the DA, I don't see any harm in taking the money. The fact that he made you a bona-fide offer (if that is indeed the case) will probably count in his favor whether or not you get anything out of it... so you might as well get something.
     
  4. RockKrawler

    RockKrawler Gresham Member

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    This may depend on the DA handeling the case.
    Many times since a firearm is involved they want to prosecute the offense.
     
  5. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Once you accept a civil conclusion to the crime, the court looks upon it as you and suspect entered into a civil agreement that bypasses the judicial system.

    If you accept this offer, make sure you come out on the good end, and make something off it, as once it's done its extremely hard for the criminal charge to go forward.

    These types of offers happen more often then most think. Yes, it's actually legal. The down side is that once you agree to accept payment, and the suspect doesn't hold up their end of the bargain, your only recourse is a civil suit. And we all know you can't get blood out of a turnip.

    Most of the time, along with jail time for the suspect, there's usually victim compensation paid out, so you may get money anyway, it's just when.

    I would seek advice from the Dist. Attorney as the lawyer suggested.
     
  6. MarkSBG

    MarkSBG Beaverton Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Either way, I would want to be sure that the guy pays for his crime. It would either be by time or by cash. In civil suits, punative damages can be ordered that discourage unlawful/immoral behavior.

    It would be on a case by case basis for me. If the guy was going to get off with probation, the cash would likely make the guy think twice about doing it again. If he was up against a 10 year stretch, making a payment would seem like a get out of jail free card.

    What is his likely sentence? I would call the DA and ask what they think. Certainly, they will have an opinion based on seeing many of these cases.

    Either way, I would commit to giving the money to a charity so that my decision wouldn't be based on a cash windfall on my end, but rather to see justice done...

    Rambling enough for ya?
     
  7. Interesting stuff guys, keep it coming.

    Just some more info: I have Insurance and recovered all but about 3000.00 worth of the loss. My kimber is held in evidence, and when I get it back I will have to deal with the insurance company to buy it from them If I want to keep it. Also any money recovered above my deductable will go to the insurance company according to them.
    Kyle
     
  8. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    My first answer to the attorney would be "How much $? Put a sum certain in writing so I can think about it and talk to my insurance company."

    My second would be "Does your client have the cash and is he prepared to pay it now?"

    "The theft and any wrongdoing" is pretty nebulous.

    Once I knew an exact amount, and what my insurance company would want (as you said, probably all above the deductible) I'd weigh whether I was actually netting more than I have now, and if so whether it was worth it to let the guy off the hook.

    If they would actually pay your whole loss so that you recovered that $3k and your deductible, maybe that would be enough of a lesson to them.

    $.02
     
  9. Benny503

    Benny503 Grants Pass Well-Known Member

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    Contact your insurance and your insurance company will come after the theif, that way will not make you feel bad about pressing charge on the theif. The insurance company will make sure the theif pay them back 5X they put out for you and no mater which way it happen, the insurance company will go after the guy :) Goodluck and keep us update, I want to know the outcome of this.
     
  10. twoclones

    twoclones Tri-Cities, WA Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Stealing a dollar then paying back a dollar is not restitution in my book since if I'd caught you stealing that dollar, I'd want to give you a ten dollar beating.

    ;)
     
  11. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Aw c'mon. After reading this thread I figured I could go rob a bank and if I got caught just have my attorney write a letter saying I'd give the money back and they could forget it ever happened.

    No? :)
     
  12. I think if I were to get triple my loss back I would do it, but I think the D.A. is still going to prosecute it either way.
     
  13. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Most likely you will get a promise to pay not cash money and then you will have no criminal recourse to get you money back just a worthless IOU from a deadbeat!

    I say let the justice system give it to him with both barrels as he will still be liable for paying the restitution!
     
  14. Friskyou

    Friskyou Forest grove New Member

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    The civil compromise is a slippery slope. On one hand you want justice, but a court order to pay you doesn't mean you will see a dime. On the other hand getting your money back is better then nothing, but bad guys walks away smiling.

    Once you agree to the civil compromise, your criminal case will take a hit. No matter what amount you take your now in the civil contract, so unless you get every penny your owed at one time, don't take anything. In Washington County the DA's office will just walk away from the case.
     
  15. shockercustoms

    shockercustoms Forest Grove, Oregon Member

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    Your wasting your time. A group of buddies and I were out at Brown's camp playing in the snow when he broke an axle shaft. We left the truck there over night and some kids we were in highschool with stripped the truck. We found out who they were and went to court over the ordeal. He has seen $15 dollars from the thousands the court ordered them to pay. That was 11 years ago.

    Look at it this way, you played roshambo and let the guy go 1st. Now for round 2 are you going to let him go 1st again?:paranoid:
     
  16. jacknast76

    jacknast76 USA New Member

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    If the court order to pay is in criminal court then there are repercussions for the crook not paying. He will get a criminal sentence, be in contempt of court. If in civil court you get an award and they don't pay, the state won't do anything unless you sue again.
     
  17. jacknast76

    jacknast76 USA New Member

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    LMAO had to remeber what roshambo was(south park). LMAO too funny. and true.
     
  18. terrylf72

    terrylf72 Portland, Oregon, United States Member

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    two words.... FRY HIM!!
     
  19. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Decades ago someone really cheated me in a nasty way so I took them to small claims court for $25 and won. They lost court costs too so they owed me about $50. On the way out in the hall, they came over and laughed at me, telling me I'd never collect.

    About a year later they sold their house and guess what? I had a lien on the title. They had to pay me to clear the title and close their sale but they couldn't find me because I had moved. :)

    Today the title company would just withhold the $50 in escrow for me and close the sale, but back then they didn't. I had a ton of fun throwing out forwarded letters and delaying the sale about 2 months. They had to hire a PI to find me and "serve" me the cash money at my new house. :thumbup:
     
  20. terrylf72

    terrylf72 Portland, Oregon, United States Member

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    Isnt karma awsome!! lol