I am only my 14th month of probation out of a 5 year sentence for a dui felony probation in Florida. I have not been making monetary payments due to having no job because no one will hire me because of this felony. I have made payments the last two months, but I am 1300 dollars behind. I am close to a violation. My officer says come as close to that amount as I can or she will violate me. If I can someone come up with the money by next month, can she still violate me or will that be satisfying to her? What if I can only come up with half and the next half by February? I have legal representation already, should I seek to renew their counsel?
Personal Injury Lawyer
It may be possible but more information would be needed to determine the possibilities.. You need to discuss this with your attorney and see if you are able to obtain a modification of your probation based on your job situation. Sometimes this is an option based on the circumstance of the case as well as the compliance with all other terms of your probation.
Monetary payments such as ?? Restitution? Fines & Court Costs? Costs of Probation Supervision? All of them??
You can file a motion before being violated. Motion to Determine Ability To pay for the restitution... you have the burden beyond a preponderance of the evidence (50%+1), Motion to Stay Fines & Costs - ask for long enough time to get into a payment plan with clerk, Motion to Waive/Reduce Costs of Supervision - by far the most common and easy one to get granted.
You can call the Judge's assistant to put these on calendar in most counties.
Albert M. Quirantes, Esq.
Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer
The information provided is not legal advice from Criminal Defense Lawyer Albert Quirantes, or the Ticket Law Center in Miami, Florida. There is no attorney client privilege created in this communication. Do not send questions which are confidential in nature by either this venue or via email. Personal questions should be asked in person or via telephonic conference only. You should only ask theoretical questions of a general nature. For more information visit www.criminaldefendant.com
There is no such thing as a debtor's prison in the US or FL. That said, if you willfully and substantially fail to comply with the conditions of your probation - including making court ordered restitution - then a violation can be filed and, if the court finds that you both willfully and substantially failed to comply then you can be incarcerated.
But in order to incarcerate you for failure to pay restitution the court must first hold a hearing and afford you due process, including a right to present evidence that your failure to make your Court Ordered restitution payments was not willful - that is to say that you could not (not that you chose not to) make the payments. If you truly could not then your violation should not be considered "willful", and without that necessary component you cannot be violated and incarcerated.
The Court has other alternatives to jailing you; namely it can choose to extend your probation (so as to afford you more time to pay) or it can convert your restitution payments into what is referred to as a "criminal order of restitution" (a non-dischargeable debt which you can be held to pay even after your probation is terminated).
All of this said, if you know that you will not be able to make your restitution payments (as it appears from your question) then you will be best advised NOT to wait for your PO to violate you and instead you should consider causing the matter to be brought before Judge beforehand - thereby hopefully impressing your Judge by your preemptive demonstration of a respectable level of acceptance of responsibility.
If you truly cannot make your payments and if you have a lawyer then you should discuss this with her / him and have a preemptive motion filed; if not then you should consider asking your PO if s/he will assist you to get the matter in front of the Judge now, as opposed to waiting for an imminent violation.
Either way so long as you are not spending your money on superfluous things and you are truly strapped for cash (and given your tragic familial issues) then I am confident that the good Judges of the 15th Judicial Circuit will show some compassion and understanding to your situation.
I hope that this has been helpful and wish you the best of luck!
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