Restitution is when the court orders a person who committed a crime to pay the victim back for a loss resulted from that crime. It must be ordered by the court at the Sentencing.

A victim of a crime can ask the prosecutor to ask the Judge to order the defendant to pay restitution for their expenses. It is important for the victim to keep track of any losses and expenses that were a direct result of the crime, such as original receipts that can be provided to the police, prosecutor and Department of Probation. Restitution cannot be paid for future losses, mental anguish or pain and suffering. A request or claim for restitution will be included in any probation investigation report.

The Judge may order restitution in a lump sum or by a payment schedule. If the Judge orders restitution, the victim does not have to deal directly with the defendant. They will get payments from the local probation department or Department of Correctional Services. For more information on restitution, including help covering out-of-pocket expenses resulting from the crime, visit Crime Victim Compensation.


Examples of Restitution Expenses

A victim can ask for restitution to pay for any expense that they had to pay because of the crime. Common examples are:

  • Medical bills, such as any out-of-pocket costs for doctors, physical therapy, ambulance, transportation, and emergency services
  • Counseling bills
  • Loss of salary or earnings
  • Property expenses, to replace, repair and/or clean damaged or stolen property
  • Funeral expenses
  • Insurance deductibles
  • Incidental expenses, such as changing locks, towing fees, and the cost of changing your phone number


Restitution Hearings

The defendant can object to the amount of restitution ordered by the judge. If they do, the court may hold something called a restitution hearing, where the defendant may question the amount of restitution being requested. The court may consider the defendant’s ability to pay. The prosecutor may ask the crime victim to testify at the restitution hearing.


Restitution From a Child

Children can be ordered to pay restitution by the Family Court. But restitution from juvenile delinquents may be limited to $1,500 and restitution from persons in need of supervision (PINS) may be limited to $1,000. In some cases, a victim can get money from the child’s parents or guardian by starting a civil case against them.

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