Obtaining Compensation for Damaged Property in a Criminal Case
In the case of damaged property, when Police make an arrest they will require a statement from victim:
1. As aggrieved party
2. Requesting compensation for damaged property
In addition to the statement, he will be asked for an official estimate for any damage and Police will ask him to sign a compensation form which states that he wishes to be compensated for that damage and the total amount being requested.
If client signs request for compensation form his request will be dealt with by the criminal court. The client must take into consideration that although the Judge may find the Defendant guilty he might not make any provision for compensation, or if he does, the compensation ordered by the Court may not be for the full amount requested.
If this is the case the client may not request compensation by taking civil action against the Defendant, the reason for this is that of double jeopardy – you cannot take a person to court twice on the same charge(s).
Another way the client may proceed is by not signing the request for compensation form on the statement. Instead, when the criminal case is being heard he should attend court with a lawyer as a “watching brief”. If the case is proved against the Defendant (i.e. they are found guilty) his lawyer may inform court of his intention to proceed civilly for compensation.
NB: The total amount of compensation that the Magistrates Court can order is £2000. In cases where the damage is well in excess the case would have to be heard in the Supreme Court.
CAB SERVICE AIMS TO
Ensure that individuals do not suffer through lack of knowledge of their rights and responsibilities or of the services available to them or through an inability to express their needs effectively.