We have been including buy money, overtime fees and the occasional fee for CI's together with 140 lab fees. Total per case is usually around $300. I understand that we might not be able to include all of this restitution in our judgment if the Defendant is sentenced to prison however I don't understand why I can't make it binding on the Defendant as part of our Plea Agreement if the Defendant is placed on Community supervision.My Judges have told me that they will only approve $140.00 for labs from now on. We have been letting first time drug dealers plead with us capping the amount of time that we will request at 10 years, including fines and the above restitution for each of the cases. They can at least apply for probation and get a PSI snd ask for Probation. It moves the cases and most are being sentenced to prison because our town is fed up with them.If the Judge shocks them or just puts them on probation I believe the Judges should have to assess what we have agreed to in our plea papers.JB I know you know the answer. I have read Moore. Please help
The CI $$$ and Buy Money are, in my opinion, proper restitution requests and we regularly include them in plea deals and at punishment during trials - the overtime is probably a stretch. I would try to educate your Judge on what is properly considered as restitution. Bottom line - if the Defendant agrees to it as a part of a plea deal and it's approved by the Court, they should be held to it - just like a contract.
Have you looked at Uresti,98 SW3d 321? That is the case I've seen used most often to argue against the law enforcement costs you mentioned. Of course Art. 42.12, Sec. 11(a)(19) specifically authorizes reimbursement for lab analysis as a condition of probation, which may explain why your judges are willing to include that. Based upon our reading of Uresti we have told our agencies we cannot include their investigation costs as restitution in a case.
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