The term “restitution” refers to compensating the victim in a case, such as a DWI case, for their losses. The rationale behind awarding someone restitution is that when a person is injured in a DWI case, the victim deserves to be compensated for their injury by the DWI offender. The main purpose of awarding restitution in a DWI case is to ease the financial burden on the victim while reinforcing the DWI defendant’s sense of responsibility for the DWI offense. Restitution in a DWI case may be ordered pursuant to a plea agreement or as a condition of probation.
Who can collect restitution from a DWI defendant? In a DWI case, the victim of the DWI offense may collect restitution if they have suffered injury or loss as the result of the acts of the DWI offender. If a DWI case involves the death of a person, victims eligible to receive restitution may include either the victim’s surviving spouse or their nearest living blood relative.
The DWI defendant’s ability to pay restitution
In a DWI case where a victim requests restitution, generally the court will consider whether a DWI defendant is able to pay in determining the amount of restitution and the payment schedule. The court may also consider the DWI defendant’s future financial prospects in making the restitution award. Generally, the amount of restitution awarded in DWI cases is within a judge’s discretion. However, the restitution award must be reasonable and usually must bear a reasonable relationship to the damage caused by the DWI defendant’s criminal conduct.
DWI Restitution in New York
Restitution in New York is governed by New York Penal Law § 60.27. Under this statute, victims of a serious injury in a case, such as a DWI case, may receive restitution if they are the innocent victims of a crime and were physically injured as a result of the crime. Under this statute, restitution covers actual, out-of-pocket losses of victims of crimes, such as DWI offenses. Restitution in New York covers, among other things, the repair costs of items damaged as a result of the offense, medical expenses of the victim including professional counseling expenses and medical transportation, sick leave costs of the victim and lost wages of the victim. The restitution statute applies to individuals as well as to corporations, municipalities, and insurance companies who suffer a loss due to a crime such as a DWI offense. Restitution in New York is not mandatory in DWI cases, but under the statute, courts are required to consider awarding restitution if requested by the victim in a DWI case.
New York Penal Law 60.27(5) (a) sets limits on the amount of restitution which may be awarded in cases such as DWI cases. For felony cases, the maximum restitution that may be awarded to an injured plaintiff is $15,000. In non-felony cases, the maximum restitution that can be awarded is $10,000. The court is not allowed to award restitution beyond these limits in a case such as a DWI case unless the defendant consents or the restitution award is made a condition of a conditional discharge or probation or the amount of restitution represents the return of the victim’s property or actual medical expenses. Under New York Penal Law 65.10(g), an award of restitution survives the death of the victim in a case such as a DWI case, and the remaining restitution is payable to the victim’s estate.
If a defendant, such as a DWI defendant is unable to pay restitution, a New York court may adjust the amount of restitution, or may adjust the period by which the defendant must pay restitution, or may revoke that part of the sentence pertaining to the defendant’s payment of restitution in the case. If a defendant, such as a DWI defendant, fails to pay restitution, the court may issue a warrant for their arrest. It is important to note that under the statute, if the court is unable to collect restitution or adequately compensate the victim in a case such as a DWI case, the victim may seek damages from the offender in a civil case.
The attorneys at the law firm of Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are experienced in handling DWI cases. If you need a lawyer who can help you obtain the best possible outcome in your DWI case, call the law firm of Nave DWI Defense Attorneys.
The exclusive purpose of this article is educational and it is not intended as either legal advice or a general solution to any specific legal problem. Corporate offices for Nave DWI Defense Attorneys are located at 432 N. Franklin Street, Suite 80, Syracuse, NY 13204; Telephone No.: 1-866-792-7800. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Attorney Advertising.