Gaining compensation as a victim of crime

When a crime is committed against a victim it sends a ripple of effects through the community. There are a variety of ways you can gain compensation for the effects of the crime on your life, as noted below.

Direct reparation order

A reparation order compels to criminal to either return the goods they have stolen, or pay monetary compensation for property that they have damaged or destroyed. The criminal can apply for some relief from a reparation order if they are not able to make these payments without adversely impacting the dependents of the criminal. However, the court will usually issue some form of reparation order even for a lower amount so that there is some direct compensation from the criminal to the victim.

Criminal compensation for the victim

For some crimes there is not a piece of property that can be claimed against, such as crimes against a person. In this case the victim may have medical costs as well as lost income as a result of the crime. In this case you can lodge a claim for both the income and any costs as a victim of crime to the state government run Office of Criminal Injuries Compensation. The amount that you can claim depends on the nature of the crime and its impact on your life. The maximum claimable amount tops out at $75,000 but is lower for crimes committed earlier. In most cases the claim needs to be made within 3 years of the crime although you can apply for extensions of this time period if there are extenuating circumstances.

Criminal compensation for the victim's family

Equally if you have a family member who has been the victim of a violent crime you may lose income while you care for them and help them attend medical appointments. As the family member of the victim of a crime you can also apply for compensation for your cost and lost income as well as any compensation for a loss of enjoyment of life. If the worst is to happen, you can also apply to the Office of Criminal Injuries Compensation for compensation for funeral expenses.

If you, or a family member, are the victim of a crime and would like to seek some criminal compensation it can make sense to get the advice of a criminal lawyer who is experienced in these sorts of criminal compensation applications.