Constitutional Right to Restitution


Victims of crime have a constitutional right to restitution from convicted offenders for losses incurred as a result of the crime. 


“Victim” includes the following persons:

1) Direct victims (those who directly sustained economic losses);

2) Governmental agencies;

3) “Victim” includes the following persons:

  • Direct victims (those who directly sustained economic losses);
  • Governmental agencies;
  • Insurance Companies (when defendant is convicted of submitting false insurance claims);
  • Others:

4) Others:

  • The immediate surviving family member of the actual victim;
  • Parents and guardians of a victim who is a minor;
  • Any person who has sustained an economic loss as the result of the crime and who satisfies any of the following conditions:
  • at the time of the crime is or was the parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse, child or grandchild of the victim;
  • living in the victim’s household;
  • a person who previously lived in the victim’s household for at least two years in a relationship substantially similar to that or a parent, grandparent, sibling, spouse, child or grandchild;
  • another family member of the victim, including but not limited to, the victim’s fiancĂ©, or fiancĂ©e, and who witnessed the crime;
  • is the primary caretaker of a minor victim; and
  • any person who is eligible to receive assistance from the Restitution Fund administered by the Victim Compensation and Government Claims Board



Restitution Request Form

Victim losses are documented using the Restitution Request FormIt is recommended that you provide documentation in support of your request whenever possible.


The Restitution Request Form should be provided to the victim advocate and/or deputy probation officer once your losses are known so it can be included in the pre-sentencing report.  At sentencing, the judge can order the defendant to pay restitution for losses you suffered related to the crime.  If your losses are not known at the time of sentencing, the court will set a Restitution Status Determination Hearing.  If the defendant contests the amount of restitution, the court will set a Restitution Hearing. 



Collection of Restitution

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation collects restitution from offenders ordered to serve a state prison sentence.

When the offender is sentenced to state prison, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) will collect a portion of the restitution order from the offender’s trust account (funds placed there by the offender or his/her family).  

The San Luis Obispo County Probation Department Revenue and Recovery Services collects restitution from defendants placed on probation.  They also collect once defendants are released from county jail and county jail prison sentences.


Restitution to the Victim Compensation Board

When a crime victim’s losses are reimbursed by the Victim Compensation Board, the court shall order the offender to pay restitution to the Board to replenish the State Restitution Fund.


Losses Subject to Restitution:

Property Damages or Loss (clean-up, reasonable repair or replacement of damaged/lost property)

Medical Expenses

Mental Health Counseling

Lost wages, Profits, and Future Lost Wages/ Lost work product

Future economic losses of spouse of deceased victim

Child support to victims’ children

Interest (10% per annum)

Attorney fees (in certain cases)

Other expenses (including relocation expenses, residential security expenses, residence and/or vehicle retrofitting expenses, crime scene clean-up)

Restitution to human trafficking and misappropriation of recorded music victims

Any losses indicated above that were paid by the victim’s insurance carrier


Unclaimed Restitution

The Office of Victim and Survivor Rights and Services (OVSRS) has joined forces with the California State Controller's Office to establish an "Unclaimed Criminal Restitution" search link on their web site.

This is an effort to inform victims of adult offenders about restitution that the CDCR has collected and is unable to distribute because they do not have the victim's name or address.

Victims can log on to the database and search to see if they have any restitution collected by the OVSRS on their behalf that has not been received.

Click on the link to search for Unclaimed Restitution