Imposing Restitution Despite Acquittal on Appeal

In People v. Lent (1975) 15 Cal.3d 481, the defendant was convicted of one count of grand theft and acquitted of another. As a condition of placing defendant on probation, the trial court imposed restitution in the amount of $ 1,778 ($ 500 to the victim of the count of which defendant was convicted, and $ 1,278 to the victim of the count of which he was acquitted). On appeal, he contested the restitution order as it related to the criminal charge of which he was acquitted. (Id. at p. 483.) The Supreme Court found that ordinarily jury exoneration of defendant of criminal responsibility for the $ 1,278 would preclude inclusion of the item in the trial court's restitution order. ( Id. at p. 487.) Nevertheless, it held that under the facts of that case, there had been no abuse of discretion in the trial court's probation condition restitution order. The court noted that the trial court had declared that it had given consideration to the acquittal, had found that the verdict did not absolve the defendant of false statements about where the proceeds went and for what purpose, and had been convinced that the defendant perjured himself before the jury respecting the disposition of the $ 1,278. (Ibid.) Lent was later cited with approval in People v. Carbajal (1995) 10 Cal.4th 1114, 1121, 1123-1125 (Carbajal).