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Victim/Witness Services Division Feedback
What is restitution?
Restitution is the money that a judge orders a juvenile or adult offender to pay to the victim for out-of-pocket expenses that occurred as a direct result of the crime. It is part of the offender’s sentence and is based on the victim’s expenses and the offender’s ability to pay. The expenses might include medical or therapy costs, lost wages due to the crime, or replacement of stolen or damaged property. The Office of Justice Programs at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety offers information on collecting court-ordered restitution.
How can I request restitution?
You must complete an affidavit of restitution form. The form must be notarized and include the offender’s name and any court file numbers. Copies of bills, receipts, insurance claim forms and estimates should be attached to the affidavit. The form should be filed with the court as soon as possible. If you need help or assistance completing the affidavit form, please contact the Victim/Witness Services Division at (651) 266-3099.
What are Reparations?
Crime Victim Reparations are another option for repayment. Reparations are financial assistance from the government and is available to any victim of a violent crime regardless of whether the case is charged or if the offender is found guilty. The Reparations Board does not cover personal property loss. Application forms are available from the Minnesota Crime Victim Reparations Board office at (651) 201-7300 or by downloading them from the website at www.ojp.state.mn.us. Completed application forms can be faxed to the Reparations office, and should be submitted as soon as possible. Medical treatment or court proceedings do not need to be completed prior to filing a reparations claim. Some eligibility requirements include:
- The crime must have occurred in Minnesota, or in a foreign country without a compensation program.
- The crime must have been reported to the police within 30 days (no time limit for sexual assault and child abuse victims, but the crime must be reported).
- The victim must cooperate fully with police in their investigation and with the City or County Attorney in the prosecution of the offender.
- The application form must be submitted within 3 years of the crime (child abuse claims must be filed within 3 years of the date the crime was reported to police).
- The victim must not have committed a crime or contributed to the crime through their own misconduct.
- All available collateral sources must be used first.
What is the difference between Restitution and Reparations?
- Is the financial responsibility of the defendant.
- Is only available if the offender is convicted of a crime and the judge orders it to be paid.
- Can only be ordered for expenses directly related to a crime, including property losses.
- Is financial assistance from the government.
- Is available for victims of violent crimes regardless of whether the case is charged or the offender is found guilty.
- Is only available for victims of crimes reported to law enforcement.
- Does not cover property losses.