What is restitution in a DUI case in Boise? When you are charged with driving under the influence, you typically face several penalties. You can seek lower penalties by defending yourself with the help of a felony DUI attorney. However, the defense and your available options depend on the unique circumstances of the case.
One of the penalties that may be imposed by a court on a DUI offender is restitution. This penalty is relevant in DUI crashes involving bodily injury or property damage. Here is a look at restitution in a DUI case, what it means, and who it applies to.
What is Restitution?
Restitution is reimbursement received by a victim from the perpetrator of an offense. This reimbursement covers the damages that were directly caused by the offense. For instance, if you were driving under the influence and caused a crash that resulted in property damage, the property owner can seek restitution. If the court approves it, you will be required to pay for the damage caused by your actions. Restitution in a DUI case in Boise, Idaho is something to be aware of.
This is in contrast to a claim or lawsuit for damages in which the victim must file for damages through the civil legal system. In restitution, damages are awarded to the victim in connection with the criminal case. This saves the victim from the hassle of going through the civil system and getting damages after filing a lawsuit.
How Does Restitution Work?
Restitution is possible only when a criminal case is ongoing against the guilty party. For instance, in the example cited above, the affected property owner can file for restitution only if a DUI case against you is already underway. The victim will need to contact the Boise attorney’s office and make a formal request for restitution. The attorney’s office will review the request and then prepare a restitution statement. This statement is forwarded to the judge presiding over the criminal case.
If the judge finds that the facts of the case and the available evidence confirm property damage, restitution is approved. As the defendant, you are then required to pay up the money to cover the damage.
Losses Recoverable Through Restitution
A wide range of damages can be recovered through restitution. These include the following:
- Property Damage: If the criminal conduct, such as a DUI crash, resulted in property damage, a judge can order the perpetrator to pay the full amount of such damage. Examples of such property damage may include broken vehicle parts, damage to a fence, or any other harm to a property.
- Medical Expenses: A criminal offense like a crash caused by a DUI driver can lead to injuries. The victim may use insurance or pay out-of-pocket expenses when undergoing treatment for these injuries. When paying out-of-pocket expenses, the victim can seek these as a part of restitution.
- Lost Wages: An injury from a criminal incident can also force the victim to take time off work. This results in lost wages which are a tangible and calculable form of loss. If you caused a DUI crash with injuries, the victim can demand lost wages as a part of the restitution
However, a victim can’t seek intangible losses through restitution. This means that losses in lieu of pain and suffering, wrongful death, or disfigurement, are not covered under restitution.
Restitution in a DUI Case
If you were found guilty of a DUI crash involving property damage or bodily injury, you may need to pay restitution to the affected party. If you are criminally convicted and the charges against you are proven, it is very likely that the affected party will be awarded restitution by the presiding judge. This effectively eliminates the need for the other party to file a lawsuit.
This is why you may come under a lot of financial stress if restitution is awarded in a DUI case against you. This makes it all the more important for you to shore up an effective defense in a DUI case.
Hire a Professional Boise Felony DUI Attorney
A felony DUI offense that also involves damage to a person or property can become a life-changing event in your life. This is because the offense can put a blemish on your record while creating an unprecedented financial burden for you. You will need a qualified and professional attorney to help you through the process and defend yourself effectively.
Here at the Aaron Hooper, Attorney at Law, we can help you seek lower penalties or have the charges against you dismissed altogether. By creating a strong defense, we also reduce any chances of restitution in your DUI case. Reach out to us today to discuss your case in detail.