Adult 101

Victim FAQ's 

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Definition of a victim:
A victim is “a person who suffers direct or threatened physical, psychological, or financial harm as a result of the commission or attempted commission of a crime or delinquent act.” The term victim also includes the person’s spouse, parents, children, siblings, or guardian, and includes a lawful representative of a crime victim who is deceased, a minor, or physically or psychologically incapacitated. (Cal Const., art.1 & 28). 
Victims can also be an employer who was the victim of a worker’s compensation fraud case, an insurance company, a corporation, business trust, estate, partnership, association, government, or any other legal or commercial entity when the entity is a direct victim of a crime.

Why is the probation department contacting me if I am a victim?
The probation department will contact a victim as part of the pre-sentence investigation or juvenile court investigator to determine restitution and advise a victim of their rights. The probation department provides sentencing reports and restitution memos to the courts, upon their request.  A probation officer may contact you by telephone or mail to discuss any victim restitution you may want to claim. You may also submit a victim impact statement verbally or in writing to probation.  

The probation officer may also be able to assist you with contacting a victim advocate through the District Attorney’s office. A victim advocate can help you know what to expect in court and if you wish to make a statement in court, accompany you to court proceedings for support.  

What is a victim impact statement?
A probation officer may contact you and ask if you wish to provide a victim impact statement at the defendant’s sentencing.  Victims and/or their survivors have a legal right to make a statement about how the crime has impacted their lives.  A victim can provide a written statement and submit it to the probation department to be attached to the presentence investigation, or dispositional report. They can choose to read an impact statement in court at sentencing.  If a victim does not wish to provide a written statement, they can provide a verbal statement to the probation officer to include in the report as well.

I am a victim of a crime, is my information confidential?
Yes. The probation reports do not list your full name.  Your full name and contact information remains confidential and is not available to the defendant.  Your information is provided to Central Collections so they can send restitution payments when they are received from the defendant.

How do I claim restitution as a victim?
If the alleged suspect has not yet been sentenced and you would like to report a claim for restitution, please contact the District Attorney’s office http://www.sbcountyda.org/DefaultHome.aspx and identify yourself as the victim.  It is helpful to have the police report or case number available when you call.
The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office victim services link can also provide information regarding victim services, victim advocates, and additional resources for victims. Their website is: http://www.sbcountyda.org/HelpingVictims.aspx

What is the California Victim Compensation Program?
Victims and/or their families of a violent crime may also be eligible for reimbursement through the State Victim Compensation Program for crime related expenses.  These funds are available for medical and hospital expenses, lost wages or support, funeral expenses, medical expenses, mental health counseling and physical therapy.  You may contact a victim advocate through the District Attorney’s office for assistance in filling out an application, or you may visit the website at http://vcgcb.ca.gov/victims/

Additional resources for victims:
Vinelink.com is a national victim notification network which helps keep victims informed about the custody status of their offenders.  You can request to receive a notification when an offender is released from prison.  You can also download the app on your mobile phone.  Vinelink.com only notifies victims when an offender is released from the California Department of Corrections, not from County jail or County Prison. 


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San Bernardino, CA 92415-0460
Phone (909) 386-1810 
Fax (909) 387-5600

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