DUI Case Faces Complications over Restitution Amount with Victim’s Insurance

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By Tommy Nguyen

VENTURA, CA – During a man’s restitution hearing early this week here in Ventura County Superior Court, the prosecution appeared with updated information on the victim’s new insurance claim and changes to the requested restitution.

Nery Hernandez was charged with a felony count of DUI (driving under the influence), causing injury and a misdemeanor count of driving while license suspended, to which the accused had pleaded guilty.

Regarding the requested amount of restitution, Hernandez’s counsel and the prosecution have had a discussion, in which there was some confusion over the victim’s uninsured motorist policy.

Deputy District Attorney Stephanie Leija appeared five minutes after the hearing and started with her updated findings related to the victim’s insurance company’s policy on restitution.

“The issue is that the [victim] motorist was uninsured at the time of the accident,” DDA Leija explained. “The victim had to go through an insurance company and file an uninsured motorist claim in which he was awarded $50,000.”

Leija discovered the insurance company can “essentially be recompensed for the $50,000 for the restitution award.”

According to the law, the victim is entitled to the $50,000 which is encompassed in the $87,000 that he requested from the defendant.

The judge had some misunderstanding over the DDA’s findings, explaining although the insurance does not pay, the defendant is not entitled to any credit from the insurance amount.

The victim would be “awarded in full $87,000, including the $50,000 that he used to buy his insurance.” The company would essentially go through the victim to obtain that $50,000.

The judge ordered the accused be remanded to serve the balance of the time the court previously imposed. The court replaced the previous order and said the modified “probation amount orders that were there with the discussion of contingency fees and all that.”

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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