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Victim Restitution

Antonio R. Sarabia II a leading expert on victim restitution in Southern California. He has obtained restitution orders of more than $150,000 for an individual who was a victim of grand theft and over $500,000 for a corporate victim of criminal trademark counterfeiting. He has also worked closely with victims of abuse by medical professionals, with an emphasis on recovering not just past medical expenses, but also the important costs of future therapy. Mr. Sarabia represents individual and corporate victims in both state and federal court. His extensive writing on restitution combined with his substantial courtroom experience make him uniquely qualified to help victims.

Understanding Victim Restitution

Victim restitution is the right of crime victims to payment by the person or entity who committed a crime that hurt them or someone in their family. To obtain restitution, there must first be a conviction, whether a plea agreement, a plea of no contest, or a guilty finding by a judge or jury, and then the victim must communicate their losses to the court, the prosecuting attorney, or the probation department. Losses may include lost income, damaged or stolen property, medical bills, therapy or damage to a business or its property.

Victim restitution is much different from filing a civil suit (or personal injury suit) for example:

  • Victim restitution is usually ordered to the victim within a matter of weeks of a criminal conviction, while most civil suits generally take well over a year and sometimes years.
  • In a civil suit, the victim is required to face the lawyer for the criminal and answer personal questions under oath, in front of a court reporter (and maybe the criminal as well), for an entire day. This is a deposition. There are no depositions in victim restitution.
  • In most personal injury cases, the attorney takes between 30 percent and 40 percent of the victim’s recovery. This does not occur in victim restitution.

Exercising your right to victim restitution does not bar you from filing a civil lawsuit as well. Rather, victim restitution can be used to increase your total recovery because a portion of your civil attorneys’ fees may be paid to you in victim restitution. In other circumstances, a right of privacy claim may go hand in hand with a request for victim restitution, as it may be necessary to protect the victim from the accused.

Preeminent Expertise in Victim Restitution and Victim’s Rights

In addition to representing crime victims, firm principal Antonio R. Sarabia II has written extensively on restitution. He is the author of the chapter “Victim Restitution” in California Criminal Law Procedure and Practice, the most popular reference used by judges, district attorneys, and defense counsel in California criminal cases. He is also a contributor to the “Bench Guide on Restitution,” a special publication for California judges, and for more than six years he was a member of the Community Advisory Board of the Restitution Center. Please see our publications page for Mr. Sarabia’s bibliography.

Seek Experienced, Compassionate Legal Counsel

If you or your business is the victim of a crime in which charges have been filed, please contact IP Business Law, Inc. for a free initial consultation regarding your restitution rights or provide information on your victim restitution matter.<!– Se habla español.–>

California Restitution Self-Help Package

If you are victim of a crime in which charges have been filed in any county in California in state court (not federal court), you can use the California Restitution Self-Help Package. This package guides you through use of the most important restitution forms and has instructions on how to work with the court system. You are only entitled to restitution if there has been a conviction – this includes a plea agreement, a plea of no contest and a finding of guilty by judge or jury. It does not matter which. Nor does it matter if it is misdemeanor or felony. If you would like this package, “please click here“.

Important California Restitution Forms

A victim is entitled to a “statement of assets from the defendant.”

A victim is entitled to a restitution order and an abstract of judgment.


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