The California criminal justice system is designed to hold criminals accountable and get justice for crime victims.
As part of that process, crime victims are given the opportunity to speak up about what they lost and what they think should happen to the defendant.
At the California restitution hearing, the judge will order the defendant to pay restitution (money damages) to the victim to compensate the victim for financial losses suffered as a result of the crime. This is called a restitution order.
At the California sentencing hearing, the judge will impose a sentence, which might include jail or prison time. In order to help decide how severely to punish the defendant, the judge will allow the crime victim to make a "victim impact statement" about how the crime has impacted him or her.
Over our years working in the criminal justice system, as both prosecutors and defense attorneys, we've come to realize how influential a compelling victim statement can be at a restitution hearing and a sentencing hearing.
We've also seen how difficult these appearances can be for victims. Some people don't like speaking out in public, or find themselves at a loss for the right words under pressure.
Our California Crime Victim Advocate Attorneys go to court every day. We're very skilled at talking to judges and we can help you prepare to do it too.
We can also do the talking for you, as your "advocate," and in this way use our persuasive skills to tell your side of the story.
Either way, we can help you get what you deserve.1
You might also be interested in reading our related article on Victim Restitution & Compensation in California Criminal Cases.
1 Our California Crime Victim Advocate Attorneys have local Los Angeles law offices in Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Lancaster, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Pomona, Torrance, Van Nuys, West Covina and Whittier. We have additional law offices conveniently located throughout the state in Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, San Jose, Oakland, the San Francisco Bay area, and several nearby cities.