Restitution is the money a judge orders the offender to pay to the victim to compensate the victim for losses suffered as a result of the crime. Restitution is part of the offender's sentence or disposition and can be ordered in both adult and juvenile cases after the offender is found guilty or pleads guilty. The amount of restitution ordered by the judge depends on the victim's crime-related expenses and the offender's ability to pay.
Victims with out-of-pocket losses resulting from a crime may request restitution. Organizations such as churches, schools, businesses, or government agencies may also be eligible if they sustained a loss due to crime.
Restitution may be requested for a victim's out-of-pocket losses that are a direct result of a crime. Eligible expenses may include, but are not limited to:
- Medical and Dental Bills
- Counseling Costs
- Lost Wages
- Property Losses
- Repairing Damaged Property
If the full amount of the out-of-pocket loss is unknown at the time of sentencing or juvenile disposition, the amount of restitution may be determined at a later date, although restitution should still be requested. Requests may also be made for anticipated expenses, such as ongoing medical or counseling expenses.
A criminal court cannot order restitution payments for:
- Physical Pain
- Emotional Trauma
Victims seeking financial compensation for these types of losses may wish to hire an attorney to pursue a personal injury claim in civil court against the offender.
Requests for restitution should be made in writing using an Affidavit of Restitution form prior to the sentencing or juvenile dispositional hearing. These forms are available at the bottom of this page, in the Redwood County Attorney’s office, at the corrections or probation department, or from the court administrator. To determine where to submit these forms, contact Denise Kerkhoff.
Requests for restitution should be supported by copies of documents detailing the victim's expenses including:
- Medical/Dental Bills
- Insurance Co-payment Receipts
- Estimates for Replacing Stolen Items or Repairing Damaged Property
- Counseling Bills
- Transportation Expenses
- Proof of Lost Wages
- Other Expenses Directly Related to the Crime
What is the Difference between Restitution and Reparations?
Crime Victim Reparations is a state program that provides financial assistance to victims of violent crime. Reparations can compensate victims for expenses related to the crime, including medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses, and loss of support. However, it does not compensate victims for property losses. Reparations can compensate victims regardless of whether the case is charged or successfully prosecuted. In comparison, restitution can only be ordered if an offender is convicted.
Victims of violent crime should apply for reparations even if they are also requesting restitution.
Victims and their families do not have to wait for the completion of any medical, dental, or mental health treatment to apply for reparations. They are encouraged to apply as soon as possible after the incident to accelerate reimbursement.
Claim forms are available from the Minnesota Crime Victim Reparations Board at: 651-201-7300 or the Office of Justice Programs Online
The Crime Victim Service Coordinator at the Redwood County Attorney’s office can assist with Reparations claims. Community victim advocacy programs are also available to assist.