Restitution: Meaning, Process, Important Tips, and Why Am I Not Getting


Restitution refers to the sum of money that the judge requires the criminal to repay to the victim or survivor during the sentencing hearing or at a later date. This money is for unreimbursed costs, which may include hospital bills, lost or stolen property or money, and/or insurance deductibles. In pain and suffering, restitution does not pay.

It is the district attorney’s responsibility to ask the court for restitution on behalf of the prosecution. Before the trial or sentence date, the DA’s victim/witness section will furnish information and complete any papers that may be required. A victim of a crime must return the necessary documents before the judge sentences them to receive reparation.

This article will go into further detail about the following:

  • What is restitution?
  • How Restitution Works
  • Important Tips
  • Why can’t I see…
  • Restitution—Determining Valuation and
  • Abuse of Authority

Restitution: What Is It?

The amount of money a victim (or the victim’s insurance company) must reimburse the court for financial damages is known as criminal restitution. The right to compensation for losses directly resulting from a crime belongs to the victim.

Restitution is a financial obligation the criminal owes the victim; it is not a form of punishment. In addition to compensation for medical or counseling expenses, you might also get compensation for lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed property.

Reimbursement for travel expenses for therapy or medical appointments is another use for it. Pain and suffering are examples of losses that are typically not compensated for. Should you require assistance in securing compensation for those losses, you ought to speak with a private attorney.

Furthermore, in cases where insurance or medical coupons are unable to cover medical or counseling expenses directly related to a crime, the Crime Victims Compensation Program may be able to help.

Restitution: How it works

One requirement of the offender’s sentence is restitution. It is common for prisoners to start meeting that requirement while incarcerated. Some county jails and the state prison system withhold a portion of the funds deposited into an inmate’s account, including funds from friends and family and earnings made while incarcerated. It’s crucial to remember that jobs in prison usually pay less than 25 cents an hour, which means that any restitution made while incarcerated will be little.

*Although the procedure and percentage vary by county, all state jails take 25% of the total.

The county that brought the case against the defendant receives the money that is gathered. Following its protocols, the county distributes and verifies the monies. This may entail paying out settlements to a large number of victims or survivors in equal parts or completing the restitution of earlier cases first.

Paroleees are required to arrange a repayment schedule with the county they commit crimes in. The Clerk of Courts sets the amounts paid, which are dependent on the offender’s job situation. There won’t be an automatic infraction and/or jail time for nonpayment.

Restitution: Important Tips

  1. If you think you should receive compensation in a particular case, make sure you familiarize yourself with the legal process. To find out the status of the case, get in touch with the prosecuting attorney’s victim/witness office.
  2. Verify whether a hearing has been scheduled to decide on reparation, and make sure you show up there.
  3. Remember to add incidental expenses like medical or auto insurance deductibles when you’re making lists of the monetary and material losses you’ve experienced.
  4. Always save a copy of any documentation you provide for your records, and make sure to supply any estimates, medical bills, or other information required on your restitution.
  5. If you know that the defendant in your case has been ordered to pay restitution and is not contacting the Prosecutor’s Office after making the required payments. Inaction on the side of the defendant about restitution may result in a community supervision violation, a return to jail or prison, or an order for work release.

Why Can’t I See…

The defendant in your case may still be in jail or prison, they may not be earning enough money to pay the court, or they may not be making payments for any other reason if they have been ordered to pay restitution to you but you are not receiving any money. It’s possible that you won’t get your compensation money right away. The task of collecting compensation money owing to victims is divided among several departments. As soon as the funds are received, they will be sent to you by the clerk of the court where the case was filed.

Make sure the Clerk’s office has your accurate address if you aren’t getting your restitution. You can also contact the defendant’s community custody or probation officer over the nonpayment if the offender is under community supervision or probation. Make sure you stay in contact with your prosecuting attorney’s victim/witness office to learn more about the progress of your restitution payments.

Restitution: Establishing Value

Restitution is typically determined using the item’s “fair market value.” This court declared in the Baxter case that “a reparation order beyond fair market value is an abuse of discretion, as Kansas courts have generally maintained.” State v. Baxter (Kan. Ct. App. 2005) 118 P.3d 1291.

The toughness and proof of value requirements of a civil damage claim do not apply in a criminal case; however, the sentencing judge’s estimate of restitution must be supported by credible evidence that results in a figure that can be defended. Restitution is only due to a victim of property crime up to the amount of loss. State v. Chambers (Kan. Ct. App. 2006), 138 P.3d 405.

Aside from the item’s lack of market value, additional pertinent variables such as the cost of replacement, loss of use, cost of repair, and any unique value to the owner must all be taken into account when calculating damages to personal property. Court case: Kansas Power & Light Co. v. Thatcher, 1990 Kan. Ct. App., 797 P.2d 162.

Abuse of Authority

The abuse of discretion criterion is applied where the dispute relates to the quantum of restitution and how it is paid to the person who was wronged. State v. Crowell, 2018 WL 1352534 (Kan. Ct. App. 2018); State v. Hunziker, 56 P.3d 202 (Kan. 2002).
A court case is considered a misuse of discretion if
The actions are either (1) based on a legal error, (2) based on a factual error, or (3) based on a view that no reasonable person would adopt from the trial court. State v. Marshall (Kan. 2015) 362 P.3d 587.
You must demonstrate that there was insufficient evidence to back up the district court’s reparation judgment to establish abuse of discretion. Refer to State v. Schmitter (Kan. Ct. App. 2010), 2010 WL 445915.
It is misuse of judicial discretion to order repayment from a defendant when no reasonable person would have adopted the trial court’s position. Hinckley v. State, 1989 Kan. Ct. App. 777 P.2d 857.
We must demonstrate that there was insufficient evidence to back up the district court’s restitution judgment to establish abuse of discretion. Refer to State v. Schmitter (Kan. Ct. App. 2010), 2010 WL 445915.


In Pennsylvania, what is the duration of the restitution period?

A magistrate district court will find an offender in contempt and send the matter to the Court of Common Pleas if the defendant does not make the required reparation within 20 days after the order.

What does making reparations entail?

What does reparation mean? A court’s restitution order requires an offender to reimburse the state and the victim(s) for whatever harm they have caused. In every instance, the court issues an order for restitution without taking the offender’s ability to pay into account.

What compensation and damages are there?

Restitution damages refer to monetary awards granted to an innocent party as a means of making up for the benefits the party provided. The innocent party will receive compensation equal to the benefit they bestowed on the other party when they had a reasonable belief that a contract was in place.

What is the issue with making amends?

Criminal penalties, costs, and restitution also increase defendants’ time in the system, which can make readmission more difficult. Many times, probation includes payment of restitution as a requirement; therefore, even in cases where the offender complies with all other requirements, their inability to make payments keeps them from finishing probation.

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