What is Restitution?
Restitution is a judgment from a court that requires a person convicted of a crime to reimburse the victim of the crime that they committed. Restitution is ordered in every criminal case where the offender is found guilty. Any victim who suffers a loss as a direct result of the crime can get reimbursed, and once the amount is set by the courts the victim can request that monetary collections begin.
How much Restitution can I receive?
The fine that offenders are ordered to pay is set by the judge during the criminal trial. The fine ranges between $200 (the minimum) and $10,000 (the maximum).
Which of My Expenses Can Restitution Reimburse?
The court must award restitution to the victims in the full amount of their economic losses, including but not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Mental health counseling
- Lost wages or profits
(If the victim was a minor, then the lost wages or profits of the victim's parents)
- Relocation expenses such as: deposits for utility services, rental housing deposits, temporary lodging and food expenses, etc...
- Expenses to install or increase home security related to the crime
- Actual & reasonable attorney's fees
- Expenses to retrofit a vehicle and/or home in order to make it accessible for a victim who was permanently disabled (whether partial or total disability) as a direct result of the crime
- For violations of Penal Code section 288 (Child molestation) psychological harm may be ordered
- For Identity Theft victims, expenses for a reasonable period of time to make the victim whole & repair the damaged credit
Who is Entitled to Receive Restitution?
Under current law, a victim of any crime is entitled to resitution. This includes:
- Insurance companies (due to victim coverage or insurance fraud)
- Employers (in cases of Worker's Compensation fraud)
- The immediate surviving family of a late victim
- Government entities
- Or any person who sustained economic loss as a result of the criminal activity, and at the time of the crime was
- A parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse, child, or grandchild at the time of the crime.
- Was Living at the victim's household at the time of the crime
- Lived in the victim's household for a period of time not less than two years in a substantially similar relationship to those listed under number 1 on this list.
- Is another family member of the victim and witnessed the crime (e.g. fiance)