Restitution to Owner of a Car Damaged in an Accident in California

In People v. Carbajal (1995) 10 Cal.4th 1114, the court held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering the defendant to pay restitution to the owner of a car damaged in an accident from which the defendant had fled. The defendant had entered a plea of no contest to leaving the scene of an accident. (Id. at pp. 1118-1119.) Carbajal concluded: "Restitution is also related to the goal of deterring future criminality in that it acted both as a deterrent to future attempts to evade his legal and financial duties as a motorist and as a rehabilitative measure tailored to correct the behavior leading to his conviction." (Id. at p. 1124.) There was no question as to the defendant's responsibility for the loss. The defendant admitted he had "'committed a negligent act of driving that caused damage to the victim's parked car.'" (Ibid.)