David B. Harrison
Restitution in Traffic Accident cases
Often the issue of 'restitution' can be the biggest impediment to resolving a traffic accident case. Recently a person came to me after pleading guilty to a minor traffic offense that resulted in an accident. This person agreed to pay "restitution" as requested by the prosecutor because she thought she had sufficient insurance to cover the claim (which she did). However, restitution in the traffic case and resolution of the civil claim with her insurer are two different things legally. So a month or so later she got a bill from the DA's office for over $20,000. It took some effort, but eventually we got the bill reduced to zero and she did not have to pay any restitution. So if a traffic ticket involves an accident or damages to some one else, you should consult a lawyer BEFORE deciding how to handle it in Court.