Victim Restitution in DUI Criminal Matters


If you pled guilty to, or were convicted of, driving under the influence, the court must order restitution to any victims who claim economic losses from that incident. Under California Penal Code Section (“PC” hereafter) 1202.4(a)(1), “a victim of crime who incurs an economic loss as a result of the commission of a crime shall receive restitution directly from a defendant convicted of that crime.”

To the extent possible, the restitution order shall be prepared by the sentencing court, shall identify each victim and each loss to which it pertains, and shall be of a dollar amount that is sufficient to fully reimburse the victim or victims for every determined economic loss incurred as the result of the defendant’s criminal conduct…”

The victim is required to submit the losses they believe were caused by the defendant while committing the crime. The defendant can agree or stipulate to the amount requested or request an evidentiary hearing to dispute the requested amount.

Once the victim makes a prima facie showing of economic losses, the burden shifts to the defendant to disprove the amount of the claimed losses. People v. Gemelli (2008) 161 Cal.App.4th 1539, 1543. Defendant, thus, has the burden of proving inaccuracies in the victim’s proof. People v. Fulton (2003) 109 Cal. App. 4th 876, 886.

If the defendant had insurance that covered all or part of the requested restitution, the victim is not able to “double dip” and get paid again in restitution. However, restitution covers economic losses that are outside typical insurance coverage such as loss of wages, rental car costs, among other things.

If you are charged with driving under the influence in San Diego or any other county in California, retain an experienced DUI defense attorney to help you navigate all the issues in your matter, including restitution. Contact the Law Offices of Susan L. Hartman today for your free phone consultation: Text or call 858.365.3316.

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