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How Does Restitution Work in Criminal Cases?

Wondering what restitution is? Restitution is the court’s way of holding the offender accountable and making them clean up their mess and pay for their crime. Don’t spend that restitution check too fast, though. Ensure you get what you’re owed if the crime caused financial damage. Restitution in cases about justice. Getting a good defence lawyer is a key consideration to guaranteed compensation for the loss due to a criminal act. 

Restitution in Cases

When is Restitution Ordered?

When you find yourself in financial and property crimes such as theft, fraud, robbery, and burglary, restitution is mandated. It also covers offences including assault, domestic abuse, and drunk driving. 

These crimes cause specific losses, like medical treatment and lost wages.

The prosecution must request restitution with evidence of losses provided by the victim. The judge ultimately orders restitution based on proof of actual losses. It would be best to have a good leading criminal defence lawyer Thompson, for legal guidance when charged with restitution.

  • Typical losses include:

  • Property repair or replacement

  • Medical and counseling bills

  • Lost income from missed work

  • Stolen cash

Restitution Assessment Process

Victims must record and submit evidence to prove their financial losses from the crime to get restitution. This may include receipts for property repair or replacement. It may also include medical bills, counselling invoices, and estimates of stolen cash. It also includes documentation of lost income from missed work and similar evidence.

The probation department usually does more investigations. They look into the victim’s claimed losses and the criminal’s ability to pay. A full restitution report is prepared recommending the appropriate payment amount. This proposed restitution will be considered at the sentencing hearing.

The criminal can review the report. They can dispute the amounts and the validity of the claimed losses. The defence may argue that certain losses are exaggerated or unrelated to the crime. The judge will use the evidence. They will hear from both sides. They will have the final say on the total owed.

Types of Restitution

There are three main types of restitution in criminal cases:

Direct restitution covers out-of-pocket expenses and losses from the crime. They must be documented and tangible. This includes repair or replacement costs for property, stolen cash, medical bills, counselling, and clean-up. Also, it includes lost income. Direct restitution is easier to measure. It relies on solid evidence like receipts and billing statements.

Indirect restitution covers intangible losses. These include costs like transportation to court, temporary housing after a crime, and new locks after a break-in. Though indirect costs can be harder to prove, courts may award reasonable estimates.

In-kind restitution may have the criminal directly repair or restore damaged property. They do so through labour and services instead of paying the costs. For example, a vandal could be ordered to remove or fix graffiti rather than just paying for it.


If you are a victim of a crime that caused financial loss or damages, fully document your expenses and losses. Consult a knowledgeable criminal attorney. For example, you could consult leading defence lawyer Thompson. They can help you understand your rights. They can also help you build the strongest case for obtaining fair restitution. With good documentation and legal expertise, you have the best chance of getting the most compensation. Don’t let yourself suffer quietly – take action to obtain the restitution you legally deserve by contacting our good defence lawyer, Thompson, now.