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How can a deployed service member settle a bench warrant for failure to pay the full amount of repercussions in an insurancecase

Colorado Springs, CO |

Hello,

I was deployed within the period of my repayment time frame. I had already paid about 70% of the restitution and served my community service requirement. The only other condition not met was to attend a MSF (motorcycle) training course. Between my injuries and Army tempo I did not have a good opportunity to attend the training. Plus I am afraid to get back on a bike. My wife received a letter informing that I was to appear in court in a few days and the DA plans to arrest. I contacted the DA, and was told to request an extension, though the judge may issue a bench. Also I had to move across the country in conjunction with my orders. I can pay the rest of my fees when I return, but cant afford a lawyer. Being arrested will kill my security clearance. Any options or advise?

I plead guilty to the DA in probate without appearing before a judge for careless driving. This was a deal to combine charges for improper merge and fail to have insurance. The only conditions unmet were finishing restitution and the MSF course. The letter from the DA stated that an appearance had been set in 9 days from now, and the DA would be recommending jail time. To my knowledge I was never placed on probation. I was told by the DA while settling that my charges would be dismissed upon completion of the terms. I may be mistaken though; I do not have the signed agreement here. I was given 1 year to complete when I plead in October 2012. My restitution was not set until April 2013. I was represented at that hearing, though I was not prior nor am I currently. I had no other charges and have never been in any trouble with the law. I have not currently been issued a warrant. When I contacted the DA today, he replied that if I requested a continuance that the judge may deny and issue a bench warrant.

Attorney Answers 2


  1. There are a few more factors that will determine what will happen. What were you convicted of or which charge did you plead guilty to? How long have you been on probation? Are there any other conditions of your sentence still outstanding? If you do not possess a motorcycle or have been too injured to ride one, not doing the MSF class will not be a problem. If the judge insists on completion of that, there are other car related driving classes you can complete. I have never seen anyone sentenced to jail for failing to pay restitution in their case unless they refuse to do so at all. Your probation will most likely be revoked and re-granted for an additional period with the same conditions. If there already is a bench warrant for your arrest currently, you will probably be taken into custody, but if you merely received a letter stating your probation may be revoked and a hearing will be set, then there is probably not a warrant for your arrest currently unless you have several different cases.


  2. Great response by Mr. Greenwood. I would hire an attorney back in the jurisdiction where you have the warrant to see if the attorney can negotiate with the DA and with the judge to resolve this by mail. You say that you can't afford an attorney. However, this is simply a case in which you can not afford to proceed WITHOUT an attorney. If your future and your security clearance have any value to you, you will borrow money from family or get a loan or charge the small retainer on your credit card. It is well worth it.

    The information provided in this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not considered to be legal advice.

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