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Depending on the sentence, it could be months or years. Offenders may have their entire probation sentence to pay restitution. Payments vary depending on the ability or inability for the defendant or co-defendants to pay.
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If you are an uninsured, violent-crime victim who was hospitalized, first, check with the hospital to apply under the Illinois Hospital Uninsured Patient Discount Act (IHUPDA). This requires hospitals to give discounted care to eligible uninsured Illinois residents. Victims of violent crimes may also apply to the Attorney General’s Crime Victim’s Compensation Program online or by calling 1-800-228-3368 (TTY: 1-877-398-1130).In other cases, all documentation of bills should be forwarded to the investigating police department and to the victim specialist assigned to your case as soon as possible. If the defendant pleas or is sentenced, they could be ordered to pay restitution as part of the sentence. Restitution will also be ordered in criminal court cases wherever practical and possible. Unfortunately, it is not always realistic in criminal cases for restitution to be ordered or paid, such as in severe injury involving several thousands of dollars, or when violent offenders are sentenced to prison for a long time such as in murder.
Restitution is the out of pocket expenses (not covered by insurance or other means) the victim has from medical bills and damages as a result of the defendant’s criminal actions against them. The assistant state's attorney will seek restitution in criminal cases whenever documentation is provided and reasonable. Sometimes a restitution amount cannot be agreed upon and a hearing is requested for the judge to determine the amount. Victims are responsible to provide all necessary documentation for restitution. Situations where restitution would not be ordered in criminal cases would be a finding of not guilty, if the defendant is sentenced to serve time in the department of corrections (prison), documentation was not available, or the court does not find the amount reasonable through the criminal court.
Restitution is paid through the Lake County Circuit Clerks office (1-847-377-3380), not the State’s Attorney Office. It is very important that crime victims update any change of address with the circuit clerk's restitution division. Checks are not forwarded if the victim moves and does not update their address
Although the judge may order restitution as part of the sentence, the defendant may still not pay or make full restitution through the criminal court. A petition to revoke could be filed for failure to pay and a hearing is held. However, unless it can be shown that the defendant willfully did not pay restitution, and has the means to pay it, it is unlikely they would be penalized for not having the financial ability to pay restitution. The Judge could decide whether other remedies would be taken, such as, ordering the defendant to do public service hours in place of completing restitution or extending the probationary time. If a defendant has successfully completed all other sentence terms, and/or some attempt to pay has been made, the court may terminate the case without payment of restitution.