The following is a outline of the general life of a restitution claim:
- The Probation Officer’s Pre-Sentence Report
In determining the amount of restitution, the court will often delegate to the Probation Department to investifate the circumstances surrounding the crime and the history of the offender. The Probation Department will prepare a probation report for the court which will make a recommendation as to the appropriate amount of restitution for the victim.
- Restitution Ordered by a Judge
Te responsibility to order restitution is that of a judge. Although the judge may delegate to probation officers, it is the sole responsibility of the judge to order the amount in court.
- Offenders Sentenced to State Prison vs. Parole
The California Department of Corrections (“CDC”) can only collect restitution from offenderd under the jurisdiction of the CDC. That means that the offender must be incarcerated in one of the prison institutions under their control. Once the offender is discharged from parole, the victim must seek remedy through the civil court process.
- Victims Must Request Restitution Collection
The first and most important step a victim needs to take is to request that restitution be collected by the CDC is to obtain the Victim Services and Restitution Collection Request Form (CDC Form 1707). This form can be obtained from any local Victim/Witness Assistance Center or may be downloaded here.
- Plea Bargains
Plea bargaining is a practice in which a Defendant in a criminal case will be permitted to plead guilty to a lesser charge, thereby receiving a lighter sentence than if found guilty on the more serious charge and saving the state the time, money, and resources of a trial. However, the court may still order restitution on dismissed counts when the negotiated dispotition includes a Harvey Waiver. The waiver may also encompass untilled charges; when it does, the court may base a restitution order on the defendant’s uncharged offenses.