Restitution is money the judge may order an offender to pay as a condition of sentence to reimburse the victim for out-of-pocket expenses related to the crime. Restitution may be ordered in both adult and juvenile cases after the offender has been convicted or adjudicated and is based on a victim's request for restitution and the offender's ability to pay. Restitution may also be required of offenders who participate in accountability programs outside of court, such as the Diversion Program.
Victims of violent crime may be eligible for financial compensation through the Minnesota Crime Victims Reparations Board for medical or therapy costs, funeral expenses, substitute child care, or loss of wages. Property damage or loss is not covered. Not all victims are eligible for reparations. Financial assistance may be available to victims of violent crimes regardless of whether the case is charged or if the offender is found guilty. Claims must be filed within three years of the injury except in cases involving domestic child abuse and certain other limited exceptions.
Victims of violent crime should file a claim for reparations even if they are also requesting restitution since there is no guarantee the offender will be able to pay restitution and reparations may cover the losses before the offender pays restitution. Call the Minnesota Crime Victims Reparations Board at 651-201-7310 or go to the Office of Justice Programs website.
Every crime victim has the right to file a civil lawsuit seeking financial compensation from the perpetrator or from other parties whose unreasonable conduct gave rise to conditions which allowed the crime to occur. For more information about the civil justice system and where to turn for help, go to the National Center for Victims of Crime.