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Name: People v. Stanley
Case #: S185961
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 07/09/2012

When awarding restitution to a vandalism victim, the court has discretion to award either replacement cost or repair cost. Defendant vandalized the victim’s 1975 pickup truck which had been in excellent condition when purchased for $950 some 18 months earlier. Defendant pled guilty to felony vandalism and received a 16-month sentence. He contested the court’s award of $2,812.94 to the victim to repair her vehicle. The Court of Appeal rejected defendant’s argument that victim restitution should be limited to the $950 purchase price of the car. Affirmed. Under Penal Code section 1202.4, subdivision (f)(3)(A), the trial court may award restitution to the victim for the replacement cost of property or the actual cost of repair when repair is possible. The decision whether to order replacement or repair costs is left to the sound discretion of the court. In this case, awarding the victim the cost of repair did not result in a “windfall” to the victim as appellant asserted. This conforms with the spirit of Proposition 8’s “Victim’s Bill of Rights” as well as the implementing legislation.