Los Angeles DUI and Civil Judgements

Los Angeles DUI Attorney

DUI Attorney Drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence where there was a collision that caused damages or injuries to another are typically ordered to pay restitution to any and all victims as a condition of probation. In many cases, a defendant’s insurer may cover the restitution award. However, there may be cases where insurance does not cover the damages or the victim is claiming damages that exceed the defendant’s policy limits. In these cases, the defendant will be required to pay victim restitution out of pocket. The restitution award may be very large and the defendant may not be able to pay the full amount during the period of probation. In these cases, the judge can order that the remaining amount owed be converted to a civil judgement against the defendant.

At the time of sentencing, the judge will typically order that the defendant pay restitution to the victim in an amount to be determined. The defendant will often stipulate to liability but not to the amount owed. The victim is entitled to recover all damages incurred as a result of the defendant’s criminal conduct. If the defendant disagrees with the amount claimed, he or she can request a restitution hearing in which the victim has the burden of proving that the defendant’s conduct substantially caused the victim’s damages. At the conclusion of the hearing, the judge will determine how much, if anything, the defendant owes. The restitution award may be extremely high, especially where the victim sustained injuries and received extensive medical treatment.

The defendant would be expected to pay restitution as a condition of probation. If the defendant is not able to pay the full restitution amount at once, the judge may order an ability to pay hearing. At this hearing the defendant can present evidence regarding his or her financial situation, including income and expenses. The judge will ultimately place the defendant on a reasonable payment plan.

In many cases, the defendant is unable to fully pay the restitution amount during the period of probation. The judge may extend probation to give the defendant additional time to pay restitution. A defendant’s probation can be violated if he or she fails to pay restitution, however the failure to pay must be willful and intentional. If the defendant simply cannot afford to pay restitution, this would not be ground to violate probation.

If the defendant has still not fully paid restitution at the conclusion of the probation period, the judge can order that the remaining amount owed be converted to a civil judgement. Once a victim has a civil judgement, he or she has the power to garnish the defendant’s wages, can access the defendant’s financial records and can place a lien on any property owned by the defendant. The judgement would be in place until it is fully paid off by the defendant.

As long as there is a civil judgement, the defendant would be unable to expunge the underlying DUI conviction pursuant to California Penal Code Section 1203.4 PC. In addition, civil judgement for damages stemming from DUI incidents cannot be discharged in bankruptcy under United Stated Federal law.

If you have been involved in a DUI case where there may be a restitution issue, it is critical that you discuss your case with a Los Angeles DUI Attorney as soon as possible. As a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience, Los Angeles DUI Attorney Michael Kraut works hard to ensure that his clients receive the most thorough representation at all stages of a DUI case, including the restitution hearing if necessary.

For more information about Los Angeles DUI and civil judgements, and to schedule your free consultation, contactLos Angeles DUI Lawyer Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1480, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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He gave me the peace of mind that my DUI case was going to be resolved. He fought for what it was needed and helped me by answering all my questions. Mike is not an average attorney. He’s a very experienced, honest and straightforward person that is there for you!
I hired Attorney Mike Kraut and I'm am so happy and grateful that I did! I was arrested for a DUI because my BAC level was over the .08 limit. I ended up getting a wet and reckless instead of a DUI. I still have to do some classes and I'm on probation, but I do not have a DUI on my record. If you have a DUI hire Attorney Kraut, he definitely knows his stuff!
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There aren't enough positive words to write about Mike, but let me be clear that this is the only lawyer worth hiring in Los Angeles. Mike is professional, caring, and an absolute champion at winning in court.
Kyle, Avvo User
Mike Kraut is not a typical lawyer. He is a straightforward person with a true heart and a sympathetic ear. He is also smart and connected and he cares about the people who seek out his help. He got my son out of a jam. He did it quickly and painlessly. I recommend Mike Kraut to anyone that needs his services.
Thank you Mike for helping my son.
Mark, Avvo User
Michael Kraut is a rock star lawyer. I was really happy and satisfied with the results I received from Michael and his team. A few months back I was being accused of a serious felony. Mike gave me sound legal advice and worked diligently to clear my name. Mike was great at always keeping me updated and returning calls. Great, great lawyer I cant say enough about this man!
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How can I express how relieved and pleased I am with Michael's professional abilities to have my Felony brought down to a misdameanor to a possible dismissal with deferment. With his care my life has been turned around and cannot say how helpful he's been not only in my case but life. He, himself has changed how I view criminal lawyers. Thank you so much Michael!
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