If you have been the victim of a crime, you may feel helpless. The criminal case, if there is one, is handled by the prosecution. While they may call you as a witness, you have little control over what the charges are, what plea bargain is accepted, and what the perpetrator’s punishment will be. However, there is one thing that you can do: You can get the restitution you deserve.
At Justice 4 Crime Victims we work with victims of many types of crimes. We often hear from clients that they didn’t realize that they were entitled to restitution, or that they don’t think it will make a difference. The truth is that there are two main ways you may be able to get restitution and for many people it does make a big difference. It offers a sense of closure, it punishes the at-fault party, and it helps with financial burdens that have come up as a result of the crime.
Read on to learn about the two main ways you may be entitled to restitution. If you would like to learn more, call Justice 4 Crime Victims to talk to a victims rights attorney.
You and your family may be eligible for compensation for losses you suffered as a result of the crime. This could include property damage or stolen property, medical and / or therapy costs, home security, lost wages, relocation costs, retraining for a new career, damage to a business, funeral costs, reasonable attorney fees to collect ordered restitution, and more.
If you suffered financial loss as a result of the crime, and the case goes to a criminal cord, the judge can order the defendant to pay back the losses as a part of their sentence. This is known as a restitution order. If the defendant is not capable of paying the money, the judge can order that they get a job. If the defendant refuses to pay then they will be in violation of their probation and can go back to jail.
You may also be eligible to receive restitution from the state-funded California Crime Victims Compensation Fund. It is funded by restitution fines that criminal defendants have paid. If there is no defendant and in some cases even if there is a defendant and restitution order, but the defendant cannot or will not pay restitution.
There are a few eligibility requirements, most importantly that you must have reported the crime to law enforcement and cooperated with them. You cannot have been a participant in the crime. There are time limits regarding when you can file so be sure to contact Justice 4 Crime Victims sooner rather than later.