Unlike adult court, where victim statements and restitution are part of a probation report after conviction, in the Juvenile Court, statements and restitution are part of intake and social studies reports and the beginning of the court process.
If you are a victim of a juvenile offender, you may receive a call from a Probation Officer immediately after the juvenile has been arrested. The Officer will be preparing an intake report and will need to include an initial statement from the victim.
Within a few days after the arrest and initial intake report, the Probation Department prepares a social studies report that includes both the victim impact statements and requests for restitution. You will receive information about this report in the mail.
For the statement, you will be asked to express your views in writing, by phone or in-person. Things to consider are:
- Your feelings at the time the crime was committed
- Any loss or harm suffered due to the crime
- Any information concerning the defendant or his/her character
- Your feelings as to an appropriate sentence
Victims of Violent Crimes
Probation recognizes that victims of violent and heinous crimes are significantly more traumatized and special care is needed in obtaining statements. In such cases, Probation Officers will meet personally with victims and well as work in coordination with a victim’s advocate who is part of the District Attorney’s office. The advocates can be contacted directly at (916) 875-6908.
You will receive a packet of information on both the victim statement and restitution. You will have 45 days from the time you get the information, to submit your request for restitution so it can be part of the disposition (sentencing) of the juvenile. The request must include supporting documentation.
Supporting Documentation includes:
- Receipts from repairs
- Insurance documents
- Medical documents
If you do not submit the information in 45 days, the court report may state that “restitution to be determined later.”
If you need assistance or have questions about the forms, contact the officer listed on your letter or call (916) 875-6868.
There is no guarantee that if restitution is orderd that collection will occur. The Probation Department along with the County Department of Revenue Recovery will attempt to collect on your behalf.
Parents, along with the minor, are accountable for the costs of restitution ordered by the court for the crimes committed. Guardians who’s guardianship began before the convicted minor was 10 years of age are also held accountable for the payment of restitution.
If restitution cannot be determined at the time that the juvenile is sentenced, and as long as the juvenile is on probation, you may still be eligible for compensation. You will still need to provide a restitution claim and supporting documentation. If you do provide a claim and documents, Probation will request a hearing so the Court can set the amount and collection can begin.