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Name: People v. Rubics
Case #: D045636
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/06/2006

Rubics pleaded guilty to a felony hit and run offense which resulted in the death of the victim, in violation of Vehicle Code section 20001(a). The trial court ordered him to pay $44,000 to the victim’s family in restitution under Penal Code section 1202.4, subdivision (f). Rubics challenged the restitution order, arguing that the economic loss to the family was caused by the accident, not by his conduct in leaving the scene of the accident. Although Section 20001 focuses on the act of leaving the scene of an accident, a conviction under that section acknowledges the fleeing driver’s responsibility for the damages caused by the accident itself. Since Rubics was involved in the accident which caused the victim’s death, he was properly ordered to pay for the victim’s funeral expenses. Further, there was sufficient evidence that Rubics caused the accident and therefore the subsequent death of the victim, so the court did not abuse its discretion in ordering him to pay restitution.