Dedicated Firm Providing Victim Restitution Services for Torrance Clients
Antonio R. Sarabia II is 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 written work 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 receive payment from the person or entity who committed a crime that caused harm to them or someone in their family. To obtain restitution, there must first be a conviction, such as a plea agreement, a plea of no contest, or a guilty finding by a judge or jury. 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 different from filing a civil suit (or personal injury suit) in several ways. For instance:
- 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 perpetrator’s attorney and answer personal questions under oath, in front of a court reporter (and maybe the perpetrator 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.