If a 15 year old stole my car, totaled it and then plead guilty, at the adjudication hearing what damages is he responsible for?

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If a 15 year old stole my car, totaled it and then plead guilty, at the adjudication hearing what damages is he responsible for?

Cost of car, towing, tax and license for replacement vehicle? What can I expect the judge to order for restitution, the total costs of the damages is roughly $4900?

Asked on October 2, 2012 under Accident Law, Missouri

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The minor--or more accurately, his parents or legal guardians, since he is a minor--is responsible for ALL costs he caused you (or rather, all costs which have not been paid for by your insurance). When someone steals your property, they become reponsible for its full cost and for any other consequences of their wrongful act.

The judge may order restitution, but also may not: bear in mind that the purpose of criminal court is to punish lawbreakers and enforce the law, not to compensate their victims. If the court does not order restitution (or the restitution is not the full amount of the damages), you can sue the 15-year-old's family, including in small claims court (where you can act as your own lawyer) for the money.


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