A restitution hearing in Los Angeles takes place in a criminal court and is important for settling the amount of damages the victim is entitled to after a personal injury accident. This is a constitutional right included in the Californian Victim’s Bill of Rights Act.
The best way to make sure that you are fully protected and legally represented at such a hearing is to hire a Los Angeles personal injury attorney. A professional will be able to guide you throughout the legal process so that you can benefit from obtaining the largest amount of compensations.
Law governing restitution in California
The right to restitution is a constitutional right. In the State of California, all individuals who suffer damages or losses as a result of a criminal activity are entitled to restitution from the persons convicted for the crimes that have brought the loss upon the victim. Restitution is ordered by court, regardless of the sentence or disposition imposed.
The restitution fine payable by the defendant is calculated according to the offense but shall not be lower than 200 dollars or more than the thousand dollars for felony convictions and no less than 100 dollars or a maximum of 1,000 dollars in cases of misdemeanor. Medical expenses, expenses for mental health therapy, wages lost by the victim, home or vehicle modifications, attorney’s fees or non-economic losses are included in the types of compensations obtainable by the victim.
We invite you to watch a video about criminal restitution in California:
Limits on restitution settlements
The defendant who was accused of a crime in California will need to pay a restitution order (to the victim) and a restitution fine (to the State of California). The correct amount of the restitution will be determined by a judge based on the evidence provided by the victim.
The victim’s losses are determined by calculating the reimbursement for a number of items like the medical bills, counseling expenses, lost wages or future lost income, relocation expenses and lost or damaged property. Attorney fees and possible future losses or damages may be included. In any personal injury case, you can use a settlement calculator to find out what is the amount of compensation that you can ask for. The victim must prove his or her losses by presenting the relevant documentation like bills, medical records, receipts, and others.
In order to make sure that you receive the largest amount of compensations for your economic and non-economic losses, you can request the services of a Los Angeles personal injury attorney.
In some cases, the court hearing is not mandatory. This can happen if the victim presents the data for the existing losses at the time of the sentencing. Otherwise, the amount of compensations is calculated after the defendant pleads guilty or at the end of the trial.
If you are not getting paid by the offender you have a few options: you can contact the state prison where he/she is sentenced or is the offender is on probation you can contact the probation department for assistance. Victims who haven’t been paid by the time the offender was released from prison can contact the Franchise Tax Board. You should always remember that the restitution order is enforceable by law, like a civil judgment. This means that you can take legal action if you have not been paid.