Restitution is money you pay to the victims in your DUI case as part of your criminal sentence.
It’s often said that DUI is one of the most expensive crimes on the books. If you are convicted, you not only pay the fines and massive administrative fees, you may also have to pay restitution.
The idea behind restitution is that criminals should have to make up for the damage they do to the victims of their crimes. It is money you pay either directly to those who experienced damage, injuries or losses from your DUI incident, or to a victims in general.
Legally, this idea is similar to compensation, but it’s handled differently. Compensation is money you may have to pay if the victim files a lawsuit against you. Restitution is money that the court orders you to pay as part of your sentencing, with no lawsuit needed.
If your DUI did not involve an accident, it’s unlikely you’ll be ordered to pay restitution. Restitution is most likely if:
- You caused property damage such as a fender bender, major car accident or hitting someone’s fence
- Someone (other than you) was injured or lost their life
The way restitution is handled varies. If the victim has suffered a clear loss, you might pay money directly to them to offset it. In other cases you may pay into a state fund that supports victims of all crimes, not just DUI.
You can learn more about restitution and compensation here: What is DUI restitution?
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