What is restitution?
If you were convicted of a relevant offence in NSW, the victim or their family members can apply for financial support and/or recognition payment from Victims Services. This is called victims support.
After compensation has been awarded, Victims Services can then start the process to recover some or all of the money paid to the victim or their family members. This is called restitution.
You will only be ordered to pay restitution if you were convicted by the court of committing a relevant offence. Restitution is separate to your criminal proceedings.
This section covers:
What is a relevant offence?
A relevant offence includes:
- an offence where an act of violence was committed
- an offence for which victims support is given
- any other offence taken into account when you were sentenced.
An act of violence means an act (or series of related acts) that has:
- occurred during an offence
- involved violent conduct against a person or people
- resulted in injury or death to that person or those people.
What is a conviction?
A conviction is the finding of guilt and the sentence given by the Court.
A conviction includes imprisonment, bonds, fines and community service orders. It also includes an order made under section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 and s33 of the Children (Criminal Proceedings) Act 1987.
If you were not convicted for an offence and have been contacted by Victims Services or Revenue NSW about restitution, you should get legal advice.
What is an order for restitution?
An order for restitution is the first step that Victims Services takes to recover money from you. An order for restitution was previously called a ‘provisional order’.
An order for restitution is usually sent to your last known address for service or to the correctional centre (if you are in prison). It does not need to be served on you in person.
It will include information about:
- the relevant conviction
- the name of the victim
- the date and amount of victims support paid to the victim
- your options to respond to the order.
Sample: Order for restitution
When you get an order for restitution you have a number of ways to respond.
For more information, see Responding to an order for restitution.
An order for restitution can be made up to two years after the date of conviction or up to seven years after a victim claims financial support from Victims Services.
You have 28 days to respond to an order for restitution, even if you are in prison. After this time, Victims Services will confirm the order. It is then called a ‘confirmed order’.
Victims Services has 12 years from the date of the confirmed order to enforce the debt. If the date of the confirmed order is over 12 years, you should get legal advice.