16 year old son, stole and wrecked a car, two years ago. He hasn't made a payment in 2 months and I received a letter from the plaintiff's attorney saying that I need to start making payments or they will take me to court. Court system gave my son three years to pay it off and we are 18 months into it. He is now 18 and doesn't live with me.
Interesting question of law. I did a little research, but unfortunately, could not find anything analogous to your facts. I would review the court order that requires the payment of restitution, as one is required for it be valid and effective. There are also rules with respect to these orders that, if not followed, would make the order invalid. Find this order (or go to the courthouse to get a copy) and consult with a criminal defense attorney. I may be wrong, but I doubt you could be charged with payment of the restitution without being put on notice of it in the actual order.
Any answer provided by me does not create an attorney client relationship with the author of the question. An attorney client relationship can be formed with me only after a consultation and subsequent execution of a retainer agreement or letter of engagement. Notwithstanding that, the prospective client is afforded the protections of the attorney-client privilege before and during the consultation regardless of whether the retainer agreement or letter of engagement is subsequently signed.
I doubt it. If there was an order of restitution directed at him, it does not require you to pay. The complainant would have to get a judgment against you, which means a seperate civil case alleging your mandatory responsibility for your son's debt.
Any response I provide is meant as a general view on the subject and is no way intended to be specific legal advice to any individual. If you wish specific advice, you should hire and consult with an attorney of your choosing.
I agree, the resititution is on him. If he has three years and no schedule of payments he could possibly pay it all in the third year. They would need a civil judgement against him for it to work otherwise.
If this answer was helpful please click that block. Answers in the forum are only general and it is always best to contact a criminal defense lawyer to discuss your case.
I don't believe that you would be responsible for the existing order of restitution, any more than you would be responsible for doing his community service, prison time, etc. They would need to bring a new civil action to hold you liable for that debt., if they were able. Keep in mind that depending on what your pleaded guilty to, he may be facing serious jail time for his failure to pay restitution. You may want to help him.
I am a former Brooklyn Criminal Court Deputy Bureau Chief with over 17 years experience specializing in handling criminal cases. All answers are for information purposes only. Answering this question or any future questions does not form any attorney-client relationship. Be mindful, that answers are limited by the limited facts presented by the questioner and are not meant to take the place of competent legal advice by an attorney fully informed of all the facts surrounding your case. Also, be aware that nothing posted in a public forum such as this can be deemed confidential or privileged communication.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on their profile in addition to the information we collect from state bar associations and other organizations that license legal professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do not.
Years licensed, work experience, education
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Publications, speaking engagements