from the Superior Court in Maricopa County, No.
LC2018-000192-001, The Honorable Patricia A. Starr, Judge.
Phoenix City Prosecutors Office, Phoenix, By Jennifer Booth,
Counsel for Appellant
J. Dew Attorney at Law, Phoenix, By Michael J. Dew, Counsel
Arizona Crime Victim Rights Law Group and National Crime
Victim Law Institute, Scottsdale, By Randall Udelman, Counsel
for Co-Amici Curiae
Lawrence F. Winthrop delivered the opinion of the Court, in
which Presiding Judge Samuel A. Thumma and Judge Diane M.
The State appeals the superior courts judgment reversing the
municipal courts restitution order of $61,191.99. The State
challenges the constitutionality of Arizona Revised Statutes
("A.R.S.") section 28-672(G) (2016), which capped
criminal restitution for specified driving offenses at
$10,000. For the following reasons, we hold
that § 28-672(G) is unconstitutional, reverse the superior
courts restitution order, vacate any resulting restitution
judgment, and reinstate the municipal courts restitution
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
In municipal court, Vivek Patel was convicted of violating
A.R.S. § 28-672(A), which criminalizes moving violations that
cause serious physical injury or death. On behalf of the
victim, the State requested restitution of $61,191.99 and
argued the $10,000 restitution cap under A.R.S. § 28-672(G)
was unconstitutional. The municipal court agreed and ordered
Patel to pay the amount the State requested. Patel appealed
the restitution order in superior court. The superior court
held the $10,000 cap constitutional and reversed the
municipal courts order. The State timely appealed the
superior courts final judgment.
Because Patels case began in municipal court, our
jurisdiction is limited to reviewing the facial validity of
the statute at issue, A.R.S. § 28-672(G). See A.R.S.
§ 22-375(A); State v. Russo, 219 Ariz. 223, 225, ¶
4, 196 P.3d 826, 828 (App. 2008). We review the
constitutionality of a statute de novo .
Russo, 219 Ariz. at 225, ¶ 4, 196 P.3d at 828. We
presume the statute is constitutional, and we will not
declare a statute unconstitutional unless it conflicts with
the federal or state constitution. Graville v.
Dodge, 195 Ariz. 119, 123, ¶ 17, 985 P.2d 604, 608 (App.
1999). The challenging party bears the burden to show a
statute is unconstitutional. Id.
Generally, Arizona statutes require a person convicted of a
criminal offense to pay the victim the full amount of the
victims economic loss. See A.R.S. § 13-603(C);
accord A.R.S. § 13-804 ("Restitution for
offense causing economic loss ..."). However, A.R.S. §
28-672(G) limits restitution for victims of specified
criminal driving offenses to $10,000. This subsection was
enacted in 2006 when the legislature created the crime of
causing serious physical injury or death by a moving
violation; before that time, a moving violation constituted
only a civil violation. See Amended Senate Fact
Sheet, H.B. 2208, 47th Leg., 2d Reg. Sess. (Mar. 27, 2006).
Criminalizing these offenses resulted in a right to a
restitution award in favor of the victim of such offenses;
however, the legislation capped restitution at $10,000.
Arizona voters amended our state constitution in 1990 to add
the Victims Bill of Rights ("VBR"). See
Ariz. Const. art. 2, § 2.1 (approved by election Nov. 6,
1990); State v. Roscoe,185 Ariz. 68, 70, 912 P.2d
1297, 1299 (1996). The VBR enshrines a victims right to seek
"prompt restitution from the person or persons convicted
of the criminal conduct that caused the victims loss or
injury." Ariz. Const. art. 2, § 2.1(A)(8). The State
argues this provision constitutionally ensures a victims
right to a restitution award for full economic loss. Patel
contends that nothing in the VBR prohibits a statutory cap on
restitution. He argues that the VBR only ...