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FAQs

General
Victim Services

General

Q.Who does your office represent?
A.The City Attorney’s Office is legal counsel for the municipal corporation. This office represents the City Council and the various commissions, boards, and departments of the City. This office represents the City when it is involved in a civil lawsuit and this office prosecutes cases involving criminal misdemeanors that occur within the City.


Q.Who and what is a “public defender?”
A.A “public defender” is an attorney appointed by the court to represent a defendant in a criminal case when that defendant is found to be indigent. The name is based on the fact that the attorney is paid for by the “public” and “defends” the accused. When an entity, such as the City, accepts the responsibility to prosecute criminal cases, the City must also accept the responsibility of providing a public defender for those that cannot afford an attorney. The City does this by entering into a contract with a law firm or attorney to provide these services. The City’s current contract for its public defender services is Larsen, Larsen, Nash & Larsen, who may be contacted at 1-800-769-1026.


Q.How do I find out my court date?
A.You may do so by contacting the court at (801) 444-4300.


Q.Why can’t I “drop the charges” against someone who has committed a crime against me?
A.Charges are filed at the discretion of the City Prosecutor. The City presses charges, not an individual. However, if you are the victim of a crime, you are entitled to give input to be considered by the Prosecutor and/or the Judge about your case. If you wish to do so, you should contact the Layton City Victim Advocate, (801) 336-3599.


Q.What do I need to do if I want to sue someone?
A.The City Attorney cannot help you with your private legal needs. If you wish to sue someone, you need to hire your attorney or represent yourself.


Q.What do I need to do if I want to file a Small Claims case against someone?
A.The Court has the necessary form. Contact the Court at (801) 444-4300 or go to http://www.utcourts.gov/howto/smallclaims/


Victim Services

Q.What is "crime victim reparations"?
A.Crime victim reparations is a federal compensation program funded by fines paid by criminal offenders. You may be eligible for this program if a police report has been filed.


Q.What is "restitution"?
A.Utah Code 77-38a-102(11) defines restitution as full, partial or nominal payment for pecuniary damages to a victim including the accrual of interest from the time of sentencing, insured damages, and payment for expenses to a governmental entity for extradition or transportation and as further defined by law.


Q.Who is considered a victim?
A.Utah Code 77-38a-102(14)(a) defines a victim as any person whom the court determines has suffered pecuniary damages as a result of a defendant's criminal activities. A victim does not include any codefendant in the defendant's criminal activities.


Q.What is criminal activity?
A.Utah Code 77-38a-102(2) defines criminal activity as any offense of which the defendant is convicted or any other criminal conduct for which the defendant admits responsibility to the sentencing court with or without an admission of committing the criminal conduct.


Q.What are pecuniary damages?
A.Utah Code 77-38a-102(6) defines pecuniary damages as all special damages, but not general damages, which a person could recover against the defendant in a civil action arising out of the facts or events constituting the defendant's criminal activities and includes the money equivalent of property taken, destroyed, broken, or otherwise harmed, and losses including earnings and medical expenses.


Q.How do I apply for restitution?
A.

Restitution must be requested through the criminal case. So, if restitution is needed for an item that was stolen, the request must be submitted through the theft case filed against the defendant.

Restitution can be requested through the prosecutor's victim advocate program. A formed called a "Victim Impact Statement" will be provided which needs to be completed, signed and returned with copies of receipts or other documents that support the claim.

If a victim advocate is not available in your area, restitution can also be requested by submitting a letter to the court that includes the court case number, the amount of restitution requested and copies of receipts or other documents that support the claim.



Q.How does the court decide what to order for restitution?
A.

Utah Code 77-38a-302

Utah Code states that the things to be considered in determining restitution are:

  • the cost of the damage or lost property
  • the cost of the medical and related professional services and devices
  • the cost of funeral and related services
  • the financial resources of the defendant
  • the ability of the defendant to pay
  • the rehabilitative effect on the defendant of the payment of restitution
  • other circumstances which the court deems relevant


Q.If restitution is ordered to me, how do I collect it?
A.

If restitution is ordered to be paid to you, the defendant will pay it to the court or through a probation agency. The court or probation agency will then forward a check to you for the amount paid.

If you do not receive payments as ordered, contact the court first and they can either tell you what the delay is, how to get the matter back on the court calendar for non-payment or who the probation agency is that should be collecting the restitution.



Q.Is there any other way to get restitution for my medical bills without having to wait for the defendant to pay restitution?
A.

Crime Victim Reparations is a federal compensation program funded by fines paid by criminal offenders. You may be eligible for this program if you are a victim of a crime against persons and if a police report has been filed.

For complete information on restitution, refer to Utah Code section 77-38a.





 
 
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