Restitution in California criminal cases is governed by Penal Code section 1202.4. That section of the code allows a victim of a crime to recover his/her “economic losses" which he/she suffered as a result of the crime. “Economic losses" are normally determined with the use of bills, receipts, repair estimates, payroll stubs, business records and medical expenses. “Economic losses" do not include pain, mental suffering and emotional distress.
Having a court issue a restitution order is an important tool for a victim for a number of reasons: