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Restitution for hit and run where prison is imposed is limited to damages from fleeing, not the accident

May 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Restitution for hit and run where prison is imposed is limited to damages from fleeing, not the accident

After defendant Dennis Terry Martinez pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an injury accident in violation of Vehicle Code section 20001, subdivision (a) (Vehicle Code section 20001(a), commonly known as “hit and run”), the trial court sentenced him to three years in state prison. The trial court further ordered him to pay $425,654.63 to the victim as restitution for injuries suffered as a result of the accident. Defendant contends, and the Court of Appeal agreed, that the trial court erred in fixing the amount of restitution. We agree as well.

Where, as here, a criminal defendant is convicted and sentenced to state prison, section 1202.4 of the Penal Code (section 1202.4) provides that the defendant must pay restitution directly to the victim for losses incurred “as a result of the commission of a crime.” (§ 1202.4, subd. (a)(1); see People v. Giordano (2007) 42 Cal.4th 644, 651–652 (Giordano).) “To the extent possible,” direct victim restitution is to be ordered in an amount “sufficient to fully reimburse the victim or victims for every determined economic loss incurred as the result of the defendant’s criminal conduct.” (§ 1202.4, subd. (f)(3).) Application of these provisions depends on the relationship between the victim’s loss and the defendant’s crime. Here, defendant’s crime was not being involved in a traffic accident, nor does his conviction imply that he was at fault in the accident. Defendant’s crime, rather, was leaving the scene of the accident without presenting identification or rendering aid. Thus, under section 1202.4, the trial court was authorized to order restitution for those injuries that were caused or exacerbated by defendant’s criminal flight from the scene of the accident, but it was not authorized to award restitution for injuries resulting from the accident itself.

People v. Martinez

S219970

http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S219970.PDF

Coming tomorrow

May 24, 2017 Leave a comment

Coming tomorrow from the Cal. Supremes:

PEOPLE v. MARTINEZ (DENNIS TERRY)
S219970 (E057976; San Bernardino County Superior Court – FMB1200197)
Argued in San Francisco 3-07-17

This case presents the following issue: Can a defendant, who is convicted of hit-and-run and sentenced to prison rather than placed on probation, be required to pay restitution for the injuries the victim suffered in the collision?

No new cases Monday

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The Cal. Supremes will issue no new cases Monday.

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