Restitution

Restitution is the court-ordered repayment of losses directly related to the crime by the offender to the victim. Restitution is ordered only after a defendant pleads guilty or has been found guilty by trial.

Claiming Restitution

The judge presiding over the criminal case can only consider losses directly caused by the crime and for which documentation has been provided to the District Attorney through a victim’s Victim Impact Statement. Restitution can only be requested for those out-of-pocket costs that can be documented. Restitution can be sought for medical expenses, replacement or repair of damaged property, loss of wages, insurance deductibles, and other expenses directly related to the crime.

The District Attorney is responsible for providing the court with the amount of restitution owed to the victim, based upon the documentation provided by the victim to the District Attorney.

A Victim Impact Statement (VIS) is provided by the District Attorney’s Office to all victims of crime where damage to a person or property is charged. The VIS describes and identifies the emotional and financial impact and losses suffered as a result of the crime. To ensure the correct amount of restitution is ordered, it is important that the victim complete the VIS.

The defendant has a right to see any documentation submitted to the court. The defendant also has the right to question the restitution and may ask the court for a restitution hearing. The victim (or if a business is the victim, a representative) may be subpoenaed to testify if the judge orders a hearing.

At the sentencing hearing, the judge will make a specific order of restitution if the amount is known and documented. The court can reserve the restitution order for 90 days if an exact amount still needs to be determined.

When the final restitution figure is decided by the court, the defendant will be required to make payments.

Restitution differs from Crime Victim Compensation in that restitution is paid by the offender while crime victim compensation is paid from criminal justice-collected funds. If a victim receives crime victim compensation funds, they cannot claim those same expenses through restitution, or vice versa.


Restitution Collection & Payments

Restitution enforcement, collection, and payments are administered by the courts once restitution has been ordered.

Once restitution has been ordered by the court, the District Attorney’s Office no longer has jurisdiction to seek restitution, does not collect restitution from the defendant, and does not make restitution payments to the victim. Even when ordered by the court, restitution is not generally paid immediately, and is not guaranteed.

In many cases, the defendant cannot pay all of the restitution immediately, so the judge, through the use of a collections investigator, may order the defendant to make regular payments. The payments will be made to the registry of the court ordering restitution and distributed in payments to the victim by the court.

If the defendant is sentenced to probation, Community Corrections, or to the Department of Corrections as a prison inmate or on parole, the Probation, Community Corrections and Department of Corrections agencies may supervise the defendant’s payment of restitution to the court registry.


Updating Victim Contact Information

It is the responsibility of the victim to notify the court of any change of address information, since restitution is generally paid over a period of time. To keep your contact information current, contact the court clerk:

Denver Court Clerk Restitution Contacts
County Court (misdemeanor and traffic cases): 720-337-0410
District Court (felony and juvenile cases): 720-337-0528

Restitution FAQs

Who is eligible for restitution?

Any person or entity who has suffered a financial loss due to a criminal act committed by another person can request restitution as long as a case has been filed by the District Attorney’s Office.

What losses can I seek in restitution?

Below are some examples. This is not a complete listing and if you have questions regarding whether you can request restitution, please contact the victim advocate listed on the paperwork you received or call the main number of the District Attorney’s Office, 720-913-9000, to find out which victim advocate is assigned to the case.

  • Medical/dental expenses
  • Repair or replacement of property
  • Insurance deductibles
  • Lost wages

Restitution cannot be requested for:

  • Future loss of earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Expenses covered by insurance
  • Out of pocket loss that cannot be documented
  • Lost wages for court appearances

Who do I call if I need help completing the Victim Impact Statement?

Please call the victim advocate listed on the paperwork you received. If you do not remember who that person is, call the main number at the District Attorney’s Office, 720-913-9000 to find out which victim advocate is assigned to the case.

What if I find that the amount of restitution needs to be increased after sentencing?

The court can increase the amount of restitution after sentencing only if the final amount of restitution due was not set by the court at sentencing, and the request is being made within 90 days of the date of sentencing. If you have questions, call the victim advocate assigned to your case, or call 720-913-9000 to find out which victim advocate is assigned to the case.

How do I find out if restitution was ordered and when I will receive a payment?

If you have questions regarding the court’s final order of restitution, please call the victim advocate assigned to your case, or call 720-913-9000 to find out which victim advocate is assigned to the case.

If you know that restitution was ordered but have not received a check, you can contact the Court Clerk or the collections investigator for the court division in which sentence was rendered:

Denver District Court (felony and juvenile cases): 720-337-0528

Adult felony collections: 720-913-4606
Juvenile crime collections: 720-913-4205

Denver County Court (misdemeanor and traffic cases): 720-337-0410

I have moved or changed my contact info. How do I ensure I receive restitution payments owed to me?

If you are expecting restitution payments, it is your responsibility to update your address with the appropriate Court Clerk. If you do not, the court cannot send you the restitution owed to you.

What happens if the defendant fails to make a payment?

If a defendant fails to make timely payments, there are various measures the court, through the court’s collections investigators, can take. These include, but are not limited to the following:
• Probation revocation
• Late fees assessed
• Further investigation into the defendant’s finances
• Wages/assets subject to garnishment or attachment
• Property liens
• Intercept of state income tax refunds, lottery winnings, and other monies disbursed by the state
• Referral of account to an outside collection agency
• Convert the remaining restitution to a civil judgment

Can I pursue restitution collections on my own?

Yes, you have the right as a victim to pursue collections of restitution from the defendant in the same manner as collecting a civil judgment. This may be done through the existing criminal case.

Contact the collections investigator or further information about this process:

Denver District Court (felony and juvenile cases): 720-337-0528

Adult felony collections: 720-913-4606
Juvenile crime collections: 720-913-4205

Denver County Court (misdemeanor and traffic cases): 720-337-0410