Restitution orders

A restitution order is an order to pay money to the victim of a criminal offence. It is different from a fine or a charitable donation.

A restitution order is often made when the judge wants the offender to pay to repair or replace something that was damaged, or to compensate for lost income.

Restitution can be a condition of a probation order, but a “stand alone” restitution order can also be made by a judge.

A stand alone restitution order is imposed in addition to a sentence. For example—an offender pleads guilty to a mischief charge for damaging the victim’s car. The judge then sentences the offender to an absolute discharge, and also makes a restitution order to pay the victim back for the repairs to the car.

If an offender doesn’t comply with a stand alone restitution order, the victim may be able to get a civil court to enforce the order, just as if they successfully sued the offender for the money.