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Learn about victim restitution

The court may order a defendant to pay money to the victim of a crime. Find out how the process works.

What is victim restitution?

As part of their probation, some people convicted of a crime have to pay money to their victim. A judge will decide:

  • How much the person needs to pay
  • How long they need to make these payments

The convicted person is legally required to pay this money — even if they declare bankruptcy.

How the process works

Once the Court orders victim restitution, here’s what happens:

The Probation Department makes a plan with the defendant

The defendant is the person who committed the crime. The defendant’s Probation Officer will talk to them about how they’ll pay the money ordered by the court. The plan is designed to work with the person’s finances and situation.

The Probation Department helps the victim get paid

We will set up an account for the victim so they can get the money. The victim doesn’t pay anything for this service.

We will also share a copy of a legal document called a CR110 Order for Restitution and Abstract of Judgment. It’s a summary of the Court’s decision. The document explains:

  • What the Court decided about the case
  • How much the defendant has to pay

If you want a copy, contact the Probation Officer for the case. If you don’t have their number, contact our front desk at 415-473-6599.

The defendant makes monthly payments to the Probation Department

They can pay with cash, cashier’s check, money order, check, and debit or credit cards. They will pay both:

  • The full payment amount they agreed to
  • Administrative fees

Make a payment to the Probation Department.

The Probation Department deposits the money in the victim’s account

Once the defendant makes the payment, we will send a check (from the County of Marin) to the victim.

What happens if the defendant doesn’t pay?

We do our best to make sure defendants pay the money ordered by the Court. But what we can do depends on the situation.

If the defendant does not have the money to pay:

  • We can’t collect money from the defendant if they don’t have it 
  • By law, the defendant’s probation won’t be affected if they don’t have the money to pay 
  • The Probation Department will try to help the defendant get a job and become financially stable so they can start paying

If the defendant does have the money but doesn’t make the payments:

  • It’s a violation of their probation 
  • They may be taken back to court

Can victims get payments in other ways?

Victims always have the right to pursue payments (restitution) outside of the Probation process. For example, people can hire a private company that specializes in getting money from defendants.

If you’re interested:


Page updated March 25, 2024