IF I DONT HAVE THE MONEY TO PAY FOR RESTITUTION ON PROBATION IS THEIR ANY THING ELSE I COULD DO OTHER THEN THE TIME IN JAIL?

Asked about 1 year ago - Houston, TX

IM ON PROBATION AND OWE MONEY BUT I DONT HAVE IT. I NEED TO KNOW MY OPTIONS. I DONT WANT TO GO BACK TO JAIL BECAUSE I DONT MAKE ENOUGH MONEY. HELL IF I HAD MONEY THEN I WOULDNT HAVE BEEN STEALING IN THE FIRST PLACE. IM WILL TO WORK IT OFF IF THATS POSSIBLE OR WEEKEND TIME. WHAT TO DO?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Spencer James Cahoon

    Contributor Level 10

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you literally do not make or have enough money to pay your restitution right now, then you should not be sent back to jail. You cannot be incarcerated for a probation violation solely for failing to pay your restitution if you lack the money.

    If your officer even attempts to violate you (which is somewhat unlikely), there would be a hearing where you would be able to argue your case to the judge. If the judge agreed that you lacked the money to pay restitution, then you would not be found to be in violation. You could be given additional time or put on a payment plan. I've seen people set up a plan where they were paying just $10 a month toward the restitution. Something like that might be an option for you. It is a way to show the judge and your probation officer that you are doing what you can.

    Since restitution goes to the victim, there is not a way to work it off. You may have heard about community service in exchange for reducing fees. Where it exists, that type of thing can apply to court fines, costs, and fees - not to restitution.

    The first thing you should do is talk to your probation officer. He or she will know that you can't pay if you don't have the money. Your probation officer may be able to help you out by setting up a plan, passing on job leads, or figuring out another solution that will work for you.

    Good luck. I hope you find a solution that can give you some peace of mind.

    Answers to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice.... more
  2. JaPaula C Kemp

    Contributor Level 16

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Mr. Cahoon. He has laid it out well.

    The information provided is not advice but a legal perspective and you should schedule a consultation with the... more
  3. Cynthia Russell Henley

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In Texas, if you are indigent, you cannot have your probation revoked for inability to pay fines and / or fees. However, you can be revoked for failing to pay restitution. The way that you can try to work it out so you can pay is that they can extend your probation. If you are on felony probation, you can extend your probation to up to 20 years.

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