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2018 Florida Statutes
Legislative findings and intent.
Legislative findings and intent.
960.29 Legislative findings and intent.—The Legislature finds that former approaches to the problem of compensating crime victims through restitution have proven inadequate or have been inconsistently applied in many cases. The Legislature also finds that there is an urgent need to alleviate the increasing financial burdens on the state and its local subdivisions caused by the expenses of incarcerating convicted offenders.
(1) To remedy these problems, consistent with the preservation of all citizens’ constitutional rights, the Legislature intends:
(a) To provide a legal mechanism, in the form of a civil restitution lien, that will enable crime victims, the state, and other aggrieved parties to recover damages and losses arising out of criminal acts, imposed against the real and personal property owned by the convicted offender who committed an offense that caused the damages and losses.
(b) To prevent convicted offenders from increasing their assets after conviction, while their crime victims and the state and local subdivisions remain uncompensated for their damages and losses. To further this legislative purpose, the civil restitution lien shall attach not only to the offender’s current assets but also, should these assets fail to satisfy the lien, to any future assets or “windfall” proceeds which may accrue to the defendant, up to the full amount of the lien.
(c) To ensure that the amount of each civil restitution lien equals the amount of the actual damages awarded in the civil action arising from the crime.
(d) To impose a long-term civil liability for the costs of incarceration, by means of the civil restitution lien, against a convicted offender, regardless of the offender’s financial status at the time of conviction.
(2) The Legislature also finds that crime victims, the state, and its local subdivisions are entitled to rough remedial justice and they may demand compensation for damage and losses.
(3) The Legislature declares that:
(a) The intent of the statute is rationally related to the goal of fully compensating crime victims, the state, and its local subdivisions for damages and losses incurred as a result of criminal conduct.
(b) This civil restitution lien act rests upon the principle of remediation and not punishment, which is meted out by criminal sanctions afforded by law.
(4) The Legislature recognizes that, in many individual cases, the liquidated damage amount awarded by the court in a civil action arising from the crime does not fully compensate crime victims for their actual damages and losses. It is the legislative intent that the civil restitution liens authorized in this act assist crime victims to collect the amounts awarded and authorized as actual and liquidated damages and losses a crime victim incurs as a result of a convicted offender’s conduct, and the state and its local subdivisions incur as a result of implementation of a convicted offender’s sentence.
History.—s. 2, ch. 94-342; s. 29, ch. 95-184.