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Restitution in DUI Cases

Being involved in a car accident caused by the reckless actions of a drunk driver is a life-altering event that no amount of money can repair. Much of the property damage done, however, can be very expensive to fix, as can medical bills for any injuries incurred. When a drunk driver is caught and proceeds through the court system, there are many different sentences, including restitution, that may be applied depending on the severity of the crash, the impact on victims, and whether the incident is a first or subsequent DUI charge.

The injury attorneys at Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in Phoenix have significant experience in helping clients who have been victims of DUI accidents. If you need help filing a claim for one of these awful, life changing accidents, we are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Our offices are conveniently located in ChandlerPeoria, and North Phoenix, and we can meet in-person or over the phone or video call.  You can contact us for a free consultation, or read on to find out more.

By the way, we will also help with other problems that have cost you sleep, like getting a rental car very soon and finding a nearby doctor or psychiatrist who can help get your life back on track. Even the best legal team isn’t good enough if your quality of life isn’t sustainable while justice and compensation are on the way. The whole point of legal action is to regain quality of life, so we help you long-term as attorneys and short-term as your go-to people. Our familiarity with the local Phoenix courts makes us confident that we can help you get the best settlement possible.

If you are unsure whether or not you can afford an attorney, don’t worry. We only get paid when you settle. Check out our Attorney Fees Calculator to find out more.

What Is Restitution?

A driver convicted of a DUI offense in Arizona may face a sentence that includes jail time, fines, fees, and restitution. Focusing on the last portion, restitution, the court system in a criminal case focuses on the victim rather than the drunk driver. Restitution is a sum of money that the defendant gets the order to pay the victim of his or her crime, opposite to a fee, which is money that a defendant must pay to the state, federal, or local government that is prosecuting the crime.

Restitution should not confuse with other types of damages that allow for payments for pain and suffering, as these types of damages are only available in civil cases. However, that someone who gets injuries in a car accident may also bring a suit against a reckless driver in civil court to recover the full amount of damages.

Calculating and Collecting Restitution

The restitution amount, in addition to the fines associated with a DUI, is calculated by a court based on the damages incurred by the victim of the drunk driver. This amount is likely to include the costs of repairing and/or replacing the victim’s car, lost wages, and any other actual monetary amount that the victim lost because of the drunk driver’s careless actions.

What many do not know about restitution orders is that the judgment cannot be discharged in a bankruptcy proceeding, may convert to a civil judgment and enforce via wage garnishment, or even extend a defendant’s probationary period by up to five additional years until they pay the restitution amount. Additionally, a restitution order can even survive the death of a defendant and be enforceable against his or her estate. Arizona law does not take restitution payments lightly, and while a defendant will not be forced to pay more than he or she can afford per month, these payments will not cease until they pay the entire balance.

Conclusion

Restitution is one part that makes up a criminal sentence for a driver convicted of a DUI in Arizona. As Arizona’s DUI laws are some of the strictest in the nation, a criminal setting imposes the sentence, and the damages available to victims in a civil setting are high in order to deter future drunk driving.

At Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm near you, we have more than 15 years of experience helping clients obtain compensation for their personal injuries from DUI accidents in the Phoenix area. When you’re ready to talk, please contact our office to arrange a free initial consultation by phone or at our Chandler office, conveniently located near you.

If you have been in a DUI accident, contact Phoenix Accident and Injury Law Firm in nearby Chandler, AZ to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. We provide personal injury legal services to clients in your area including ChandlerGilbertMesaScottsdale, Tempe, and Peoria.