A restitution hearing is held to determine how much restitution you have to pay the victims of your DUI. You can request this hearing to dispute the amount you owe.
If you are convicted of a DUI in California that caused either property damage or injuries, the judge will likely order you to pay restitution. This is money to cover their costs. In some cases the judge’s restitution order will specify the exact amount you have to pay, and in others, a special hearing will be set to determine the amount. This is known as a restitution hearing.
There are two ways you can end up having a restitution hearing:
- The judge did not have documentation for the victims’ costs at the time of sentencing.
- The judge already ordered an exact amount to be paid, but you wish to contest the amount.
It’s usually in your best interest to request a restitution hearing. Although restitution is founded on a noble principle, in practice the amounts claimed are often ridiculously high. If you do not request a hearing, you will end up paying whatever the victim has claimed they’re owed.
Costs you can be liable for under restitution include:
- Cost of replacing or repairing damaged property
- Medical bills, including medicine and ongoing therapy
- Cost of mental health counseling
- Attorney’s fees
- Lost wages
- 10% interest if time has elapsed since the DUI
The restitution hearing is your only chance to dispute these costs. You should have a good DUI defense attorney help you when you request this hearing.
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