An Overview Of DUI Restitution
You may be ordered to pay restitution for the victims of your crime after being convicted of a DUI (driving under the influence). This is likely to be the case if you caused a DUI accident that ended up hurting some people or damaging their properties. Here are some of the things you should know about DUI restitution.
It Amounts To Actual Damages
Restitution is supposed to compensate the victims of your crime for the economic losses your criminal act has caused them. As such, you are only expected to pay for the actual damages the victims suffered as a direct result of your DUI accident. For example, if their car was damaged or they were injured and had to pay medical bills, your restitution should be enough to cover such expenses.
Unlike personal injury cases, you are not expected to pay noneconomic damages such as the victim's pain and suffering. However, they have the right to instigate a civil lawsuit against you to recover such noneconomic damages. You also have the right to dispute the damages if you suspect that they have been inflated. For example, if a victim has included car damages that you know occurred before the accident, you can have such losses removed from the restitution amount.
You May Receive Credit For Your Insurer's Payments
As you know, all motorists are required to carry liability coverage while driving. Your liability coverage pays for the losses other people may incur due to your driving; it even includes losses stemming from DUI accidents you may cause. This means your auto insurance company may compensate the victims of your DUI accident. If that happens, you don't have to pay full restitution to the victims because doing so would make them profit from their injuries. The compensatory payments from your insurer will be deducted from your restitution so that you only pay the remainder if there are any.
It May Be A Condition Of Probation
You don't have a choice on whether to pay restitution if you have been ordered to do so. For example, it may be a condition of your probation such that you either pay restitution or face the consequences of probation violation, which may include jail time. That won't be the end of the matter either because the DUI victims have the right to seek the court's help in forcing you to cough up the money. You may even have your wages garnished or your assets sieved and used to compensate the victims of the accident.
For more information, contact a law office like Thomas & Associates, PC.