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National Crime Victim Law Institute

Wiredu v. State, — A.3d —, 2015 WL 1500837 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Apr. 2, 2015)

April 24, 2015

Defendant was convicted of reckless driving, second-degree assault, indecent exposure, and public urination.  Defendant appealed, arguing, inter alia, that the court imposed an improper sentence when it ordered him to pay restitution to the victim’s wife for her lost wages.  Under Maryland law, the court held that restitution may be ordered for lost wages incurred by the victim of the offense but not for lost wages incurred by the spouse of a victim.  The state argued that the court should recharacterize the lost wages incurred by the victim’s wife as “actual medical … expenses or losses” and/or “expenses incurred with rehabilitation,” as the victim’s wife lost her wages while caring for her husband.  The Court of Special Appeals held that the state did not initially seek restitution for the lost wages of the victim’s wife under this theory, and instead categorized the lost wages of both the victim and his wife as separate from medical and rehabilitation expenses.  The appellate court held that “[i]t would not be appropriate … to recast on appeal the State’s request and the circuit court’s characterization of the restitution award.”  Because the award of lost wages incurred by the victim’s wife exceeded the court’s authority under Maryland’s restitution provisions, the order of restitution was vacated with respect to the lost wages of the victim’s wife, and the case was remanded for entry of a corrected restitution award.