County District Court No. 14CV2608 Honorable Walter R.
Kiesnowski, Jr., Judge
Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General, Ellen M. Neel,
Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for
Douglas K. Wilson, Colorado State Public Defender, Lisa
Weisz, Deputy State Public Defender, Denver, Colorado, for
1 Defendant, Jimmy Aruther Perez, appeals the district
court's restitution order. He contends that the court
abused its discretion by ordering him to reimburse the victim
$10, 080 for expended vacation and sick days. Because we
conclude that used vacation and sick leave are pecuniary
losses compensable to the victim under the Restitution Act
(the Act), sections 18-1.3-601 to -603, C.R.S. 2016, we
affirm in part but remand for reduction of the restitution
award by $840 (representing an additional five working days
ordered by the court but not supported by the record).
2 Perez pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident
resulting in serious bodily injury, § 42-4-1601(1),
(2)(a), C.R.S. 2016, in exchange for the dismissal of
additional charges. After the court sentenced Perez, the
prosecution requested restitution in the amount of $9, 240,
based on the victim missing fifty-five days of work after the
accident. Perez objected to the prosecution's restitution
3 At the restitution hearing, the prosecution submitted
evidence that the victim made $21 an hour and that he
typically worked an eight-hour day. The victim missed
fifty-five days of work due to his injuries from the
accident, but for a portion of those days he was compensated
by his employer through his use of vacation and sick leave.
Perez argued that the victim did not lose wages for the
period he expended vacation and sick leave, and while the
expenditure of his leave was "a loss of some kind,
" that loss was not compensable under the Act. Perez
also argued that he was not the proximate cause of the
victim's losses because he pleaded guilty to leaving the
scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury but
not to any crime establishing he was the proximate cause of
the victim's injury.
4 In a written order, the district court held that Perez was
the proximate cause of the victim's losses because his
"construction of the restitution statute [was] entirely
too narrow and ignore[d] the broad meaning intended by the
[G]eneral [A]ssembly when it tied a defendant's
restitution obligation to his overall criminal conduct and
not the charges to which he has pled guilty." The court
also concluded that
the reasonable value of the victim's economic damages is
based upon his hourly rate of approximately $21.00 per hour,
multiplied by 40 hours per week for 12 weeks. . . . [T]he
reasonable value of the paid time off which the victim was
required to exhaust because of [Perez's] overall criminal
conduct is $10, 080.
Standard of Review
5 "A trial court has broad discretion to determine the
terms and conditions of a restitution order." People
v. Rivera, 250 P.3d 1272, 1274 (Colo.App. 2010). "A
court abuses its discretion when it misconstrues or
misapplies the law or when its decision fixing the amount of
restitution is not supported by the record." People
v. Stotz, 2016 COA 16, ¶ 85 (citations omitted).
Restitution is part of a defendant's criminal sentence.
People v. Vasseur, 2016 COA 107, ¶ 16. We
review the legality of a sentence de novo. People v.
Oliver, 2016 COA 180M, ¶ 16.
6 "Whether the sentencing court interpreted the
statutory sentencing scheme correctly is a question of
statutory interpretation that we review de novo."
People v. Rice, 2015 COA 168, ¶ 10. Our primary
task is to give effect to the General Assembly's intent.
Id. at ¶ 11. "To discern the General
Assembly's intent, we look to the plain language of the
statute, and ...