Restitution involves the court ordering a defendant to compensate you for losses suffered as a result of a crime as part of the defendant’s sentence. In order to make a claim for restitution, your losses must be caused directly or indirectly by the defendant’s crime. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may receive a restitution payment or you may have a judgment and restitution order entered in your favor. Even though you receive a restitution award there is no guarantee the defendant will ever be financially able to pay you.
If you suffered personal injury as the result of a crime, the court may require the defendant to reimburse you for the cost of necessary medical and related professional services, as well as lost income. You should also contact the Florida Attorney General’s Crime Victim Services for additional information relating to the Crimes Compensation Trust Fund at http://myfloridalegal.com/victims.
If you suffered property damage or loss as the result of a crime, you may be entitled to reimbursement for your out-of-pocket expenses. In most cases, if you have insurance coverage your recovery is limited to the amount of your insurance deductible. Generally, for stolen items, the amount of restitution is established through evidence of fair market value.
By law, the burden of asking the court to order restitution and proving the amount of restitution owed is on the State Attorney’s Office. If you believe you are owed restitution, it is important that you provide the necessary documentation to support your claim. These documents might include, but are not limited to: insurance documents, repair estimates or bills, medical bills, as well as bank and credit card statements.
You may submit your documents directly or you may send your documents by email to RestitutionSAO@coj.net or by fax to (904) 255-2987.