Victim Restitution - Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when I'm ordered to pay Victim Restitution through the Court Collections Unit?

If the judge ordered you to pay victim restitution and the amount was:

  • Set at sentencing:
    • Your court order will state the amount of victim restitution owed.
  • TBD (To Be Determined) at Sentencing:
    • You will receive the following via mail:
      • Supplemental Report, Proposed Order and Notice to Defendant.
    • You will have 60 days from the date of the Notice to Defendant letter to dispute the amount before the court.
    • If you desire a hearing,
      • in adult cases, you must contact the Criminal Clerk’s Office;
      • in juvenile cases you contact your Probation Officer.

Are there Statutes of Limitations on Victim Restitution?

There is no statute of limitations on restitution fines and orders.  This order is enforceable in the same manner as a civil judgment and remains in effect until the obligation is fully satisfied. 

If the court ordered you to pay victim restitution, California Penal Code § 1202.4(5) states you must complete and file a financial statement based on your financial status with the court “Defendants Statement of Assets”.

Why am I being assessed a 15% fee on top of the Victim Restitution owed?

Per California Penal Code § 1202.4,(l) “At its discretion, the Board of Supervisors of any county may impose a fee to cover the actual administrative cost of collecting the restitution fine, not to exceed 15 percent of the amount ordered to be paid, to be added to the restitution".

What can happen if I do not make my payments as agreed for Victim Restitution?

The court can take, but is not limited to, the following  actions:

  • Pursuant to California Government Code § 12419.8 and 12419.10, the court may intercept your state tax refund and/or state lottery winnings to pay any outstanding balance you owe the court.
  • A Violation of Probation may be filed if you fail to make your payments as agreed.
  • Collection actions may be taken against you, which can include added fees and/or liens against your property. 

If I am a victim, how will I receive monies paid by the defendant?

  • When a payment is received by the defendant, the payment will be pro-rated (if multiple victims).  Payment will be held in trust for 30 days before a check is disbursed to the victim(s).
  • We will make every effort to obtain the defendant’s compliance however, we cannot guarantee payment.
  • The court will receive money and disburse to the victim(s) while the defendant is on probation. Once probation ends, the victim(s) will receive information from the Court Collections Unit on how to pursue collections on their own.
**** As the victim, it is your right to pursue collections of restitution on your own at any time. If you choose to do this, you must advise the Court Collections Unit in writing of your decision. 

If I am a victim, what do I do if I have moved or have a name change?

Notify the Court Collections Unit in writing of any changes to your address and/or name change.

Please direct inquiries, which include the case number and defendant's name, to:

If the defendant is in State Prison, how do I collect my Victim Restitution?

Contact the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation at:

Toll Free Phone:  1 (877) 256-6877
Email:  ovssinet@cdcr.ca.gov

Mailing Address:
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Office of Victim and Survivor Services
P.O. Box 942883
Sacramento, CA 94283-0001

You may also contact the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office – Criminal Restitution Specialist at 925-957-8655 for more information.