Victim’s right to seek restitution
Victims have the right to have the court consider making a restitution order for their financial losses and to have any unpaid amount enforced through a civil court.
Changes to the Criminal Code
- Victims are allowed to describe at sentencing the losses they have suffered because of the crime committed against them.
- A standard form is available for victims to help them claim their losses. The amounts claimed must be easy to calculate and based on records of actual financial loss. The amount can only include losses up to the date that the offender is sentenced (future losses cannot be included).
- Courts need to consider ordering restitution for all offences.
- An offender's ability to pay is only one consideration that a court must weigh in deciding whether to order restitution.
- Courts can include information about payment schedules in their judgment.
A judge can order restitution for financial losses related to:
- Damaged or lost property due to the crime;
- Physical injury or psychological harm due to the crime;
- Physical injury due to the arrest or attempted arrest of the offender;
- Costs for temporary housing, food, childcare and transportation due to moving out of the offender's household (this only applies if a victim has moved because they had been physically harmed or threatened with physical harm due to the offence, arrest, or attempted arrest of the offender); and,
- Costs that victims of identity theft had to pay to re-establish their identity, and to correct their credit history and their credit rating.
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