Victim Services offers comprehensive services to victims and witnesses of all types of crimes. Assistance is provided from the moment the crime occurs for as long as assistance is needed; there is no cutoff for assistance by the program. The Program was created by the passage of Section 13835 et seq. of the California State Penal Code, which mandates local comprehensive centers for victim and witness assistance throughout California. In the County of San Diego, this assistance is administered through the District Attorney's Office.
Mandatory Victim Services:
- Crisis intervention
- Emergency assistance
- Resource and referral assistance
- Direct follow-up counseling
- Property return assistance
- Orientation to the Criminal Justice System
- Court escort & court support
- Case status & case disposition information
- Notification of family and friends
- Employer notification
- Victim of crime claims assistance
Optional Victim Services:
- Creditor Intervention
- Child care
- Restitution information
- Witness notification
- Funeral and burial arrangements
- Crime prevention information
- Temporary restraining order information
- Transportation assistance
- Court waiting area
- Employer intervention
In California, victims of crime have a constitutional right to restitution. Restitution involves restoring economic losses incurred by crime victims or returning what was taken away from them as a result of a crime. It is the policy of the District Attorney that prosecutors and supporting staff members will assist victims to obtain restitution from convicted defendants in every appropriate case. Prosecutors accomplish this by seeking a restitution order from the judge handling the criminal case. See brochure on Enforcing Criminal or Juvenile Court Restitution Orders as Civil Judgments.
Victims of violent crimes can also receive some reimbursement for eligible losses from the state. The California Victim Compensation Board (State Board) administers the program that is primarily funded by restitution fines that courts order convicted offenders to pay in every case. The application for the Crime Victim Compensation can be found here. Visit The California Victim Compensation Program (CalVCP) website.
What losses are eligible for State Board claims payments?
- Medical and medical-related expenses for a victim, including dental expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses for deaths by criminal acts up to $5000
- Relocation expenses up to $2,000 per household
- Outpatient mental health treatment or counseling and in-patient psychotherapy costs
- For actual victims, wage losses for up to five years following the date of a crime
- Up to 30-days of wage losses for a parent or legal guardian of a minor victim who has been hospitalized or has died as a result of the crime
- Support losses for legal dependants of a deceased or injured crime victim
- Home security systems or improvements up to $1,000 if the crime occurred in victim's home
- Crime scene cleanup for up to $1,000 if a victim died as a result of a crime inside a residence
Expenses not eligible for State Board claims payments:
- Lost, damaged, or stolen personal property, except medically necessary replacement of items such as eyeglass and medical equipment
- Legal fees
- Claims for pain and suffering
- Expenses submitted more than three years after such expenses were incurred
- Expenses for applicants or victims who have themselves been convicted of a felony and are either placed in jail or on probation or parole
The victim claims will only pay crime-related bills not covered by insurance or other sources. Reimbursements cannot exceed a total of $70,000 for a particular crime. Each of the above losses may have their own limits. You do not need a lawyer or other representatives to receive payments through the State Board Victim Compensation Board.
If you have been a victim of a crime and need assistance, you can call 619-531-4041. A Victim Advocate will speak with you and determine how we can assist you. Program services are provided free of charge, and there is no legal citizenship requirement to receive assistance.