In criminal cases where a victim of crime has suffered a type of injury, you may be held responsible for paying restitution. Restitution is simply defined as compensation to a victim of crime resulting from the criminal actions of the defendant. Once found guilty of the crime, you have a right to have a restitution hearing to determine the amount of restitution owed to the victim. Once the restitution amount has been determined, you will be ordered to pay that full amount to the victim. However, sometimes the restitution amount may not be determined until a later time due to the type of injuries or continuing care the victim is involved in.
If Your Probation Period has Ended, You Can Still Be Required to Pay Restitution
In a recent Court of Appeal case, the Court held that even if a defendant’s probation period has expired, he is still liable for paying any outstanding restitution amount. William Ford was involved in a hit and run that caused significant physical injuries to the victim. Mr. Ford pled guilty and was placed on three years probation and ordered to pay $12,465.88 in restitution. In March 2010, the probation department notified that Mr. Ford owed $211,000 in restitution for medical bills incurred by the victim. Mr. Ford requested a restitution hearing to determine whether or not he was liable for the $211,000 in restitution. Mr. Ford’s restitution hearing was delayed many times and his probation was extended several times before the restitution hearing was held in January 2011. The Court of Appeal held that Mr. Ford was liable to pay the restitution amount of $211,000 even if that amount was determined after Mr. Ford’s probation period had ended.
The Court of Appeal reasoned that under California law, the trial court retains jurisdiction to impose or modify any restitution amount until the appropriate amount can be determined. The law further explains that when an economic loss suffered by a victim cannot be established at the time Defendant is sentenced, the Court continues to retain jurisdiction over Defendant for purposes of imposing restitution.
It is very important to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to argue on your behalf at your restitution hearing. Without a knowledgeable restitution attorney, you may be required to pay restitution amounts that you are not liable for or are not the result of your criminal acts.
Why Wallin and Klarich?
At Wallin and Klarich we always strive to ensure our clients’ rights are protected and that any restitution amount imposed is legitimate. To learn more about restitution issues and how a Wallin and Klarich attorney can assist you at your restitution hearing please call us at (888) 280-6839 or fill out our client intake form online. We will be there when you call.