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. Read More »