State v. Reed, No CR-20-0385-PR (February 1, 2022) (J. Timmer) https://www.azcourts.
Attorneys fees incurred by victim to exercise, enforce, and defend rights in criminal proceeding may be recovered in restitution award if directly caused by criminal conduct.
Defendant was convicted of felony voyeurism. Trial court awarded restitution including attorneys' fees charged by attorney she hired to represent her during criminal proceedings. The Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the restitution award and the Arizona Supreme Court vacated that opinion and reversed in part and and remanded the trial court ruling.
In sum, the trial court must order restitution for economic losses
directly caused by the criminal conduct but cannot order restitution
for consequential damages. Victims' economic losses incurred because
they exercised, enforced, or defended their rights in a criminal case are
allowed as restitution. But when those losses are private attorney fees,
they are allowable as restitution only when an attorney is reasonably
necessary to assist victims in enforcing those rights. Such fees directly
flow from the criminal conduct. If that showing is lacking, the fees are
the consequence of something other than the criminal conduct—for
example, the victim's discomfort with the criminal process, mistrust of
the prosecutor, or a strategy that the attorney monitor the criminal
proceedings to assist efforts in a related civil case. Such fees are consequential
damages, which are not allowable as restitution.
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