Appealing Juvenile Restitution In California

In In re I.M. (2005) 125 Cal.App.4th 1195, the juvenile court granted probation after finding the minor had been an accessory after the fact to a gang-related murder. As a condition of probation, the juvenile court ordered the minor to pay restitution for the victim's funeral expenses. On appeal, the minor argued the restitution award was erroneous because his criminal liability arose from conduct occurring after the victim had already been killed by someone else. But citing Carbajal's rule for awarding victim restitution in probation cases, In re I.M. held: "That a defendant was not personally or immediately responsible for the victim's loss does not render an order of restitution improper. . . . the question simply is whether the order is reasonably related to the crime of which the defendant was convicted or to future criminality." (Id. at p. 1209.) "Where, as here, the defendant has been found to have been promoting and assisting gang conduct, the restitution order serves a rehabilitative purpose by bringing home to the defendant the consequences of his gang membership. . . . the effect of the order is to make defendant aware of the consequences of his choice by compelling him to share responsibility for the gang-related activities in which he in some way participated. the order also forces defendant to face the emotional and financial effects of gang-related activity on the family of the victim. the restitution order was directly related to defendant's future criminality, and was an appropriate exercise of the trial court's discretion." (Id. at p. 1210.)