Restitution is money that the offender must pay to you for the costs of his or her crime. As a victim, you are entitled to request restitution from your offender for the cost of these expenses.
When am I eligible for restitution?
You are eligible for restitution if you have suffered any financial loss as the direct result of the crime. You don’t have to have a physical injury to be eligible for restitution.
What are eligible expenses for an order of restitution?
Almost any out-of-pocket expense is an allowable expense for an order of restitution. Allowable expenses include:
- Medical bills, including medication and prescriptions
- Transportation to the hospital, doctor’s appointments, funeral services, court events, etc.
- Physical or Occupational Therapy
- Rental of purchase of equipment, i.e. wheelchair or crutches
- Replacement of eyeglasses or hearing aids
- Therapeutic mental health counseling, including support groups
- Funeral and Burial expenses
- Lost wages
- Any expenses related to the destruction, damage, or theft of personal property or real estate
How do I request restitution from the offender?
Both you and the State’s Attorney prosecuting the case can request restitution from the offender. Follow these simple steps as soon as you know that you want to request restitution from the offender.
- Send a Request for Restitution to the State’s Attorney’s Office prosecuting the case, the Clerk of the Court, and the defense attorney.
- Your Request for Restitution should detail all expenses that you have paid and should include copies of all receipts, bills, statements, photographs of damaged, destroyed, or stolen property, police reports, copies of insurance claims, and employer statements detailing the amount of lost wages.
- Keep all original receipts, bills, statements and other documentation of expenses that you have had to pay as the result of the crime with you in a safe place.
- Arrive early on the day of the trial or hearing, check in with the State’s Attorney prosecuting the case, and give them another copy of your receipts and bills.
- Reminder: Only the judge has the ability to grant a restitution award.
How do I collect restitution once it is ordered?
Restitution is a money judgment against the offender. Follow these steps for assistance:
- Check with the Clerk of the Court to ensure that your judgment of restitution is recorded and indexed in the county or city where the offender resides.
- File an updated Crime Victim Notification & Demand for Rights Form and register for VINE so that you are notified of the offender’s release.
- Earnings Withholding Order: If the offender is on probation, parole, or another form of conditional release, payment of restitution to you is mandatory if it was ordered by the judge. Contact the offender’s probation or parole agent. Ask them to arrange a payment plan for the offender. If the offender is NOT paying restitution, ask the agent to file an Earnings Withholding Order to have money removed from the offender’s paycheck.
- Wage Garnishment: If the offender is not on probation or parole, you may file a wage garnishment by filing a form in the District Court.
- Attach Property or other assets: Property that may be attached includes a car, bank accounts, or a house.
- Remember to file a Notice of Renewal: Your judgment against the offender is valid for only 12 years, unless renewed by you.