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Victim's Guide to Restitution

NCJ Number
Date Published
36 pages
Crime victims in California are provided guidance on how the State's victim restitution procedure operates.
Section 1 discusses a victim's right to restitution, which is a judgment from a court that requires a person convicted of a crime to reimburse the victim of that crime for certain crime-related expenses. Under California law, restitution shall be ordered from the convicted offender in every case in which a crime victim suffered a loss. This includes immediate surviving family members of a late victim. Items considered by the court when determining the direct restitution order are listed. Victims need to maintain records of their crime-related expenses for use by the court in deciding a restitution amount. Section 2 focuses on the direct restitution order, with attention to items in a valid restitution order, the victim's role in determining the amount of a restitution order, and what victims should do when a sentence does not include a restitution order. Section 3 addresses the criminal justice system's collection and enforcement of restitution orders under California law. Section 4 considers restitution collection and enforcement through the civil justice system. Section 5 poses and answers frequently asked questions about restitution for crime victims in California. Section 6 concludes with a listing of assistance resources for crime victims in California, with brief descriptions of each resource and contact information.