Los Angeles DUI and Restitution

Los Angeles DUI Attorney

Los Angeles DUI and RestitutionMany driving under the influence cases involve allegations that the driver was involved in a DUI collision that caused injuries or property damage. In these cases, the defendant may be required to pay restitution to the victim for any damages incurred. Restitution is often an important part of any sentence as prosecutors and judges want to ensure that victims are fully compensated for their losses resulting from the defendant’s DUI offense.

Many defendants question why they may be required to pay civil damages as part of a criminal conviction. Before restitution statutes were passed, victims would have to separately sue for damages in civil court. The legislature recognized that this put a heavy burden on victims and has amended criminal statutes to allow victims to collect restitution through the criminal court system by making payment of restitution a term of a defendant’s probation.

In most DUI cases where there is a victim seeking damages, the judge will order a restitution hearing. Prior to the hearing, the prosecutor will contact any known victim to see if there are any damages being sought. In many cases where the defendant had an auto insurance policy, the insurer will have already compensated the victim or is in the process of settling the claim. In these cases, the restitution may be taken “off calendar” and will be moot unless the victim comes forward with a claim during the period of the defendant’s probation.

In some cases, there may be a victim or multiple victims still seeking to recover damages from the defendant. The defendant may not have had auto insurance or may have had policy limits that did not fully compensate the victim. In these cases, the victim can seek restitution from the defendant. Typically at the time of sentencing, the defendant will stipulate to liability but not the amount of restitution owed. The victim will present his or her demand for restitution and the defendant can challenge the amount sought through a restitution hearing. If the victim is claiming excessive medical injuries or property damage, he or she would have to provide documentation and/or receipts in support of his or her demand. The defendant may have to subpoena medical records or other material in order to refute the victim’s claims.

Even if a victim has settled with the defendant’s insurer and has signed a release of liability, the defendant may still have to pay restitution to the victim if the victim was not fully compensated. The Court would give the defendant credit for any amount already paid to the victim and would reduce the ultimate restitution award accordingly.

Under California Government Code § 53150, cities and local authorities are allowed to collect restitution for “the expense of an emergency response” for defendant’s who are convicted of a DUI offense. In some cases, local authorities may demand that the defendant pay for the cost of an emergency response.

If the defendant is ordered to pay restitution, this condition would be considered a term of probation. A willful failure to pay could result in a probation violation and even possible jail time. If the defendant is unable to pay restitution, the Court may extend the defendant’s probation term until restitution has been paid in full or may convert the restitution award to a civil judgement against the defendant.

If you have been charged with DUI and are concerned about restitution requirements, it is critical that you meet with a Los Angeles DUI Attorney immediately. Attorney Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who is highly skilled at litigating complex restitution issues that often arise in DUI cases.

For more information about Los Angeles DUI and restitution, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Michael Kraut at the Kraut Law Group located at 6255 Sunset Boulevard, Suite 1520, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Mr. Kraut can be reached 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

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Client Reviews
Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.