Victim Services


Victim Services Division

The Victim Assistance Program offers comprehensive services to victims of all types of crimes. Victim Advocates assist victims from all walks of life and experiences, regardless of age, background, and/or immigration status. All services are free of charge. An advocate can assist you even if a suspect is not identified or if criminal charges have not been filed. The Program was created by the passage of Section 13835 et seq. of the California State Penal Code, which mandates local comprehensive centers for victim and witness assistance throughout California. In the County of San Diego, this assistance is administered through the District Attorney's Office.

The Program may assist with the following Victim Services:

  • Crisis Intervention
  • Emergency Assistance
  • Resource and Referral Assistance
  • Orientation to the Criminal Justice System
  • Court Support
  • Case Status Information
  • Notification of Family and Friends
  • Employer Notification
  • Victim Compensation Board Application Assistance
  • Restitution Information
  • Creditor/Employer Intervention
  • Crime Prevention
  • Temporary Restraining Order Information
  • Property Return
  • VINE

Victims of violent crimes may receive reimbursement for eligible losses from the Victim Compensation Board. The Board is primarily funded by restitution fines that convicted offenders are ordered to pay by the court. In San Diego, claims are administered by the Joint Powers Unit. For questions regarding existing claims please contact (619) 531-3915. The application for the Crime Victim Compensation can be found here: CalVCB Application Hyperlink. See The California Victim Compensation Board (CalVCB) for more information.

What losses are eligible for State Board claims payments?

  • Medical and medically-related expenses for a victim, including dental expenses
  • Funeral and burial expenses for deaths by criminal acts up to $7,500
  • Relocation expenses up to $2,000 per household
  • Outpatient mental health treatment or counseling
  • For direct victims, income losses for up to 5 years following the date of a crime
  • Up to 30-days of income losses for a parent or legal guardian of a minor victim who has been hospitalized or has died as a result of the crime
  • Support losses for legal dependents of a deceased crime victim
  • Home security systems or improvements up to $1,000 if the crime occurred in the victim's home
  • Crime scene cleanup for up to $1,000 as a result of a crime inside a residence or vehicle

Expenses not eligible for State Board claims payments:

  • Lost, damaged, or stolen personal property, except medically necessary replacement of items such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, and medical equipment
  • Legal fees
  • Claims for pain and suffering
  • Expenses submitted more than three years after the incident
  • Expenses for applicants or victims who have been convicted of a violent felony and are on parole, probation, incarcerated (PPI), on post-release community supervision, or any person who is required to register as a sex offender may not be granted compensation during that time period.

The Victim Compensation Board is a payer of last resort and will only pay crime-related expenses not covered by insurance or other reimbursement sources. Benefits cannot exceed a total of $70,000 for a particular crime. Each of the above losses may have their own limits. You do not need a lawyer or other representatives to receive payments through the California Victim Compensation Board.

RESTITUTION

In California, victims of crime have a constitutional right to restitution. It is the policy of the District Attorney’s Office that prosecutors and Criminal Restitution Compact Unit staff assist victims in obtaining restitution orders from convicted defendants in every appropriate case.

If you have been a victim of a crime and need assistance, please call (619) 531-4041. A representative will speak with you to determine how we can assist you. Program services are provided free of charge and there is no legal citizenship requirement to receive assistance.