Crime victims have a Constitutional right to collect restitution. This is provided for in Article I, Section 28 of the California's State Constitution which reads: "All persons who suffer losses as a result of criminal activity shall have the right to restitution…"
The following has been compiled by the San Diego District Attorney's Office Restitution Recovery Team to answer common questions asked by crime victims who have been awarded restitution or would like to obtain a restitution order.
Restitution is an order made by the Judge as part of the defendant’s sentence that requires the defendant to repay the crime victim for losses suffered because of the defendant’s criminal conduct. Restitution includes, but is not limited to:
- Replacement or Repair Cost of Stolen or Damaged Property
- Funeral Expenses
- Medical Bills
- Mental Health Counseling
- Relocation Expenses
- Lost Wages or Income
In most criminal cases, restitution does not include “pain and suffering.” The only exception is where the defendant has been convicted of child molestation under PC288.
You may be asked for restitution information by the police, the Probation Department, and/or the District Attorney's Office. It is important that no matter who seeks this information, that you accurately account for your losses, provide supporting documentation if possible and keep a copy in case you are asked for the same information at a later time by another agency.
If the District Attorney’s Office asks you for restitution information, please do the following as soon as possible:
Fill out and submit a Restitution Request Form (RRF)
Click on the Restitution Request Form and submit your restitution claim. Be sure to itemize your losses, assign a dollar amount to each item and use the note section if you need to make any comments about the requested items.
Provide accurate information and supporting documentation if possible
Because the RRF is signed under penalty of perjury and will be provided to the court and defense counsel, it is important that accurate information is provided. If you do not have any documentation in support of your losses, you can make an estimate of the value. You can also print a page from the internet for a same/similar item to show the comparative cost if you do not have a receipt.
As soon as possible after the defendant has been charged with a crime!!! Do not wait for the defendant to be found guilty. The earlier we get your RRF, the greater chance that it will be ordered by the court at sentencing.
The RRF will be entered into our database and provided to the court, probation, and defense counsel. Your personal information is confidential and will not be provided to the defendant.
Usually the defendant agrees to pay the requested amount based on the documentation you provide, but occasionally you may be asked to appear in court. If a hearing is requested, we will work with you to secure the proper information in support of your request.
If the defendant is sent to state prison, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation will collect the restitution. Visit CDCR Victim Services online at https://www.cdcr.ca.gov/
If the defendant is granted probation, the San Diego County Office of Revenue and Recovery (ORR) collects the restitution. Visit Revenue and Recovery website at https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/auditor/orrpage.html.
Misdemeanors are collected by ORR or Court Collections.
Contact the agency responsible for collection.
- State Prison Cases: Contact CDCR Victim Services at (877) 256-6877 or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Probation Cases: Contact the Office of Revenue and Recovery (ORR) at (619) 515- 6200 or email them at email@example.com.
- Misdemeanor Cases: Contact ORR or Court Collections. Court collections can be reached at (619) 450-7034.
- Verify that CDCR or Revenue & Recovery (ORR) has a copy of the restitution order.
- Provide CDCR or ORR with your current contact information. The best way to do this in state prison cases is to complete a CDCR 1707: "Request for Victim Services" Form. This form can be found online at: https://e1707.cdcr.ca.gov/.
- Maintain your current address with CDCR and/or ORR even after the expiration of parole or probation.
Call the San Diego District Attorney's Office Victim Services Unit at (619) 531-4041 to request a copy. Please include the case number and defendant’s name. We will provide a copy to CDCR or Revenue and Recovery so they can set up an account on your behalf.
While not required, it is highly encouraged in every case where the defendant was sent to state prison. Form 1707 allows you to confidentially provide your contact information to CDCR for purposes of receiving restitution funds. It also allows you to receive notifications regarding release dates and/or parole conditions. This form can be found online at: https://e1707.cdcr.ca.gov/.
Each case is different. In probation cases, defendants are usually given a certain amount of time after being sentenced to begin making restitution payments to Revenue and Recovery. In state prison cases, CDCR will begin to collect restitution immediately and will garnish a percentage of the defendant's prison wages and/or money placed on his or her account.
The court can only order an amount of restitution that the defendant is able to pay. This can be as low as $25.00 per month. While the monthly amount may be insufficient to pay the restitution in full during the probationary period, the restitution account will remain open for collection after probation expires or the defendant is released from state prison. This is another reason it is so important that you keep contact information current at ORR and CDCR.
Contact the defendant’s Probation Officer. To find the assigned Probation Officer call (619) 515-8203 for adult defendants or to (858) 694-4600 for juvenile offenders. Give the Probation Officer the defendant’s name and case number. The Probation Officer may be able to alert the court that the defendant is not paying. If a defendant suffered a misdemeanor conviction they will not have a Probation Officer. Visit the Probation Department Victim Services online at: https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/probation/victim_services.html.
Unfortunately, case law in California is clear that failure to pay restitution alone is not a sufficient basis to violate the defendant's probation, and/or impose additional jail time in most cases. However, if it can be established that the defendant can pay restitution and willfully refuses to do so, this may be the basis for a revocation of the defendant's probation and additional sanctions such as added jail time. Call the defendant's assigned probation officer to report the non-payment.
Yes. While the District Attorney's Office cannot guarantee payment of restitution, collection efforts will be made on your behalf by CDCR and ORR. Currently, CDCR collects over $1,200,000 per month from prison inmates.
The California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) can help pay bills and expenses that result from violent crime. Victims of non-violent crimes are not eligible. If you have been injured or have been threatened with injury you may be eligible for help. For more information about CalVCB click on: https://victims.ca.gov/ to visit them online.
For additional help with CalVCB forms or applications contact a Victim Advocate at the San Diego District Attorney’s Office at: (619) 531-4041.
A CR-110/CR-111 form is an Abstract of Judgment which makes your criminal restitution order a civil judgment. This makes the restitution order enforceable in the same way as a civil award and puts a lien on the defendant once it is recorded with the County Recorder's Office. Contact San Diego District Attorney's Office Victim Services at (619) 531-4041 to request a CR-110/111.
Generally, restitution is the same in both adult and juvenile cases, but in juvenile cases the minor's parents may be equally responsible for payment of restitution. Contact our Juvenile Restitution Team at Juvenile.Restitution@sdcda.org or call 858-694-4271 for additional information. Provide the minor's name and case number if you can. Juvenile cases also move much faster than adult cases, so it is crucial that you contact the Juvenile Division for help as soon as possible.
Call us at (619) 531-3517 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org if you have additional questions or feedback
There are several avenues a victim may pursue in the civil courts to collect on the criminal restitution order. Be advised, the San Diego District Attorney’s Office cannot give legal advice or handle civil actions on your behalf. As a guide to what steps you may take, please click on the following link. Enforcing Criminal Restitution Orders as Civil Judgement