Victims of crimes in California are entitled to rights provided by federal and California state law. These rights include the right to full restitution for damages suffered as a result of the criminal’s action against you. Criminal courts set restitution hearings in order to determine the amount of victim’s damages and order defendant to pay. Here’s what you need to know about these hearings:
- A hearing may not be necessary. In some cases, the information to determine losses is available at the time of sentencing. The judge may set the amount at this time. If there is no objection from the defendant and the victim agrees, a hearing is not necessary. Otherwise, restitution amounts get decided after the defendant pleads guilty or the trial ends.
- Victims must prove the amount of damages. When the hearing takes place, the victim must present documents that prove his or her amount of damages. You need a present objective evidence to establish the amount of your damages. A great Los Angeles personal injury lawyer can gather and present important evidence to ensure that the criminal court orders the defendant to pay what you deserve.
- Amendments can be made later. Just because an amount of restitution is set at the hearing or during sentencing doesn’t mean your claim is closed. Amendments to the original amount ordered may be added when a victim has substantial losses that were not apparent earlier in the process.
- A hearing can replace a civil suit. Civil suits may not be necessary when a victim restitution hearing takes place. An experienced attorney can help you avoid the long process required to mount a civil case against someone.
West Coast Trial Lawyers will help you get the restitution you deserve as the victim of a crime. Whether you want to launch a civil case or hope to obtain full compensation at a criminal restitution hearing, we are here to help victims in California. For further information or to schedule a consultation with one of our reputable and experienced personal injury lawyers please contact us at (888) 539-9582 or visit www.WestCoastTrialLawyers.com.