Ohio S. Ct. Limits Restitution in Theft Cases


In a recent Ohio Supreme Court case regarding sentencing for a theft conviction, a decision was made to limit the amount of restitution to the economic loss suffered as a direct and proximate result of the commission of the offense, R.C. 2929.18(A)(1); a hearing is required only if the offender, victim or survivor disputes the amount of restitution. The defendant took his case to the Eight District Court of Appeals after he was found guilty of fifth degree felony theft and sentenced to pay over $63,000 in restitution. The appellate court affirmed the conviction and sentencing, so the defendant took his appeal to the Supreme Court of Ohio. The major question in this case was whether or not it is valid for a trial court to require a defendant to pay restitution, regardless of the failure to object, when: 1) there is no hearing, and 2) there is no evidence of specific economic loss.