Crime Victims Now Have Constitutional Rights

Do Crime Victims Have a Right to Compensation in California?

January 7, 2019

Under California law, victims of certain crimes are eligible for compensation.

Do Crime Victims Have a Right to Compensation in California?

There are few things more devastating than being a victim of a crime. It can result in lasting trauma, and both physical and emotional scars that may take years to fully heal. For many crime victims, there is an additional toll: the burden of paying for the various expenses associated with being a victim of crime. It seems incredibly unfair, that in addition to being victimized by another person, you may be forced to bear the brunt of the costs of recovering from the crime.

Fortunately, in California, victims of crime are often eligible for compensation through the California Victim Compensation Board, or CalVCB. According to an experienced Irvine victims’ rights attorney, CalVCB offers compensation to victims of qualifying crimes. Generally, these crimes must involve physical injury, threat of physical injury or death, though for some crimes, emotional injury is enough to qualify. Some family members or loved ones who suffer an economic loss from an injury to or death of a victim of a crime may also be eligible for compensation from this fund. Victims of the following crimes may qualify for compensation from CalVCB:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual assault
  • Elder abuse
  • Child abuse
  • Homicide
  • Robbery
  • Drunk driving
  • Robbery
  • Human trafficking
  • Stalking
  • Online harassment

These are just some of the crimes that may qualify for compensation under California law.

As a skilled Irvine victims’ rights attorney can explain, simply being a victim of one of these crimes is not enough; there are other requirements that must be met in order to qualify for compensation under the law. As an initial matter, an applicant must either be the victim of a crime that happened in California, or be a resident of California to qualify. Next, the crime must be reported to a law enforcement agency, and the victim must generally cooperate with law enforcement during the investigation and prosecution of the crime. The applicant must not have been involved in or have committed a felony in the events leading to the crime. In most cases, an application for compensation must be made to CalVCB within three (3) years of the crime occurring, and an applicant must work with CalVCB to provide the information required to review the application. A seasoned Irvine victims’ rights attorney can work with you to help you put together an application for compensation.

There are a range of expenses that may be covered by CalVCB. These may include, but are not limited to, crime scene clean up, relocation, income loss, mental health services, funeral and burial expenses, and residential security. However, these expenses are subject to limitations set by the Board, and all other forms of reimbursement and recovery must be exhausted first. For example, if insurance will pay for medical or mental health treatment, it must do so before CalVCB pays these expenses.

Crime victim compensation is available in all 50 states. An Irvine victims’ rights attorney can help to protect your rights throughout the criminal justice process, including your ability to seek compensation for the losses that you have suffered as a result of the crime.

As a former prosecutor, attorney Michael L. Fell knows the system. He strongly believes that victims deserve their own advocate — someone who can ensure that their interests are represented at each stage of the process. He is dedicated to working with victims of crimes to helping them achieve justice.

At Justice 4 Crime Victims, we understand the unique challenges faced by victims of crime. We will stand by your side, giving you peace of mind in knowing that you have an Irvine victims’ rights attorney to protect your interests. Contact us today at 949-585-9055 or mfell@fellesq.com to schedule an free initial consultation.