The Ohio Victims of Crime Program

Ohio has a compensation fund for victims of crime which provides crime victims and their family up to $50,000.00 for reimbursement of certain expenses.  This program is administered by the Ohio Attorney General's office and provides victims of crime with some financial relief resulting from otherwise tragic circumstances.  Attorney Evan T. Engler at Harris & Engler helps victims of crime with their applications to the Ohio Attorney General's Victims of Crime Compensation Fund and with appeals of adverse application decisions.  Importantly, there is no legal fee to those applying for Victims of Crime applications; the legal fees are paid out of the Victims of Crime fund itself as a way to provide victims of crime with access to an attorney who can help with the whole process and provide the best chance of obtaining maximum financial relief.  If you or an immediate family member has been a victim of a crime, and that crime was reported to the police, you may be able to receive compensation from the Ohio Victims of Crime fund.  

The law firm of Harris & Engler is located in Columbus, Ohio, but attorney Evan T. Engler can help victims of crime from anywhere in Ohio.  If you want to see if you are eligible for compensation from the Ohio Victim's of Crime fund, then call Evan T. Engler at (614) 610-9988.  

What is the Victims of Crime Fund?

The Victims of Crime Compensation Fund was created by the Ohio Legislature, is administered by the Office of the Ohio Attorney General, and is paid out of the State reparations fund, which is funded from things such as Court imposed fines and fees.  

Basically, it is a fund that was made available as a resource for victims of crime who have suffered financial consequences due to a crime committed against them.  If this describes you, and you have not been able to recover your financial losses from any other source (like insurance), then you may be eligible to recover from Ohio's Victims of Crime Fund.

Who Can Apply to the Victims of Crime Fund?

Victims of crime, the estate of deceased victims of crime, and dependents of the crime victim are all eligible for financial relief from the Victims of Crime Compensation Fund.  Ohio Revised Code sections 2743.51 - 2743.72 provide the statutory framework for the Victims of Crime program.  Ohio Revised Code section 2743.51 provides that anyone who meets the following criteria can apply for reparation out of the Victims of Crime fund, which is summarized in part below:


Eligible for Victims of Crime Fund:

You can apply to the Victims of Crime fund if:
  • You are a victim of Criminally Injurious Conduct, or a dependent of a victim, the deceased victim's estate, or a third party who voluntarily pays the obligations of a victim
    • Criminally Injurious Conduct means: any conduct that occurs or is attempted in Ohio, that poses (or actually causes) a substantial threat of personal injury or death, and is potentially punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or death.
    • Criminally Injurious Conduct ordinarily does not include conduct involving a motor vehicle, except if the motor vehicle was intentionally used by the perpetrator to cause harm, used by the perpetrator to immediately flee to scene of a felony, or used by the perpetrator in a manner that would constitute an OVI
  • A victim is anyone who is considered to have been injured by the criminally injurious conduct, any person who in good faith tried to prevent the criminally injurious conduct (and was themselves injured), or any person who made a good faith effort to apprehend a person suspected of engaging in criminally injurious conduct.

NOT Eligible for Victims of Crime Fund:

There are a few things that disqualify a victim or the victim's family from being eligible for reparations under the Victims of Crime Fund, some of these are summarized below:
  • Victim's are NOT eligible if:
    • The crime was never reported to a law enforcement agency
    • The claimant is the offender or an accomplice, or a money award would unjustly benefit the offender or accomplice
    • The victim was a passenger in a vehicle where the victim reasonably should have known that the driver was under the influence
    • The claimant has not fully cooperated with the appropriate law enforcement agency
    • The victim was convicted of a felony within 10 years prior to the criminally injurious conduct; or the victim was convicted of a felony during the pendency of the Victims of Crime claim
    • The claimant engaged in an offense of violence within 10 years prior to the criminally injurious conduct
    • The claimant was convicted of an offense of endangering children or domestic violence within 10 years prior to the criminally injurious conduct
    • The victim engaged in what would be considered a felony violation of possession of a controlled substance at the time of the incident
    • The victim was serving a prison sentence at the time of the criminally injurious conduct
Additionally, the Attorney General's office will reduce or deny a reparations award if the office finds any contributory negligence on the part of the victim or claimant.  

What Kind of Damages is a Claimant Eligible For?

Generally, the Victims of Crime Fund is a payor of last resort.  If there is any other source of reimbursement for damages resulting from criminally injurious conduct, then the Victims of Crime statutes require the claimant to seek reimbursement through those other sources before coming to the Victims of Crime fund for reimbursement.  Otherwise, the Victims of Crime fund will provide reparations for things such as medical bills, lost wages, funeral expenses, replacement reimbursement for property damaged or seized as evidence, psychiatric and counseling services, and travel expenses to attend court dates up to a maximum of $50,000.00.  The Victims of Crime fund does not pay for pain and suffering damages that would be available to a crime victim under a civil lawsuit.  

Ohio Victims of Crime Attorney

Victims of Crime attorney Evan T. Engler, a partner at Harris & Engler, helps victims of crime with their applications, appeals, and redetermination requests all around Ohio.  The goal is to try to get crime victims the best financial award possible under the circumstances.  There is no fee to crime victims for these services, as attorney fees are paid out of the Victims of Crime fund itself.  If you or a close loved one is a victim of crime and are interested in talking with an attorney about receiving some of the financial help that Ohio has made available through the Victims of Crime fund, then call (614) 610-9988 today.

Although the law firm of Harris & Engler is located in Columbus, Ohio, attorney Evan T. Engler helps victims of crime in any part of Ohio. 
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Disclaimer:  Harris & Engler offers this website and the content on it for informational purposes only, as a service for our clients and friends.  The contents of this site are not considered legal advice for any purpose, and you should not consider them as such advice or as legal opinion on any matters. 

With Offices Located at: 30 Northwoods Blvd., Suite 350, Columbus, Ohio 43235
Phone: (614) 610-9988  Email: [email protected]