Restitution is compensation paid by the criminal offender to victims who have experienced financial loss, such as damaged property or medical bills that are not covered by insurance.
A judge may order restitution to be paid to you in whatever amount he or she deems to be fair and appropriate. For a judge to order restitution, the defendant must be found guilty
How to Determine Your Losses
You may be awarded restitution for your out of pocket losses. Out of pocket losses include expenses not covered by insurance that are incurred directly as a result of the crime. The criminal court cannot award restitution for pain and suffering – you must file a civil complaint for those awards. A private attorney can give you information about civil court complaints.
Out of pocket losses include:
- Insurance deductibles
- Repairs to damaged property
- Replacement of lost or stolen property
- Medical, dental, and hospital expenses
- Lost wages or income
The court will require proof of your losses, this may include:
- A letter from your insurance company
- A letter from your employer
- Bills from your doctor, dentist or hospital
- Photographs of property damaged or lost
- Receipts or repair estimates
The Court may require you to testify in court if you have no written proof of your losses.
What should I do?
If you wish to ask the court for restitution; please complete a restitution form and attach the appropriate bills, receipts or estimates and return it to the District Attorney´s office on or before the date shown on the letter. If we do not receive this information, restitution may not be ordered.
What Happens Next?
Information regarding your out of pocket losses will be given to the court by an Assistant District Attorney. The judge will then decide whether to order restitution and in what amount. The judge will determine and may set the final amount of restitution to be paid. The probation department will enforce the judge´s order.
How and When Will I Get Paid?
Once a judge orders the defendant to pay restitution, a probation officer will be assigned to supervise and monitor the defendant´s payment of the restitution. The probation officer will arrange a payment schedule with the defendant, as many defendants cannot pay the entire amount at one time. Under Massachusetts General Laws c. 258B, § 30 you may request a copy of this payment schedule. Each time the defendant makes a payment to the probation officer, the probation department will forward payments to you. Please be sure to keep the probation department informed of your address.