The answer to your question depends on the judge, the court, the nature of the offense, whether there was probation, the potential statutory penalties, any representations your friend made in court regarding his/her ability to pay. The best approach when a defendant is having a difficult time paying for court fines or costs is to be proactive and go to the judge before a payment is missed. Most, not all, judges in Michigan understand the difficult financial times we are facing in Michigan and will make some allowances under these circumstances. Some judges simply do not care. Depending on what judge is assigned to your friend’s case, the best approach may be going to the court ASAP and advising the court that despite all efforts, the money just couldn't be raised. If that is the approach your friend is going to take, I suggest he/she go into court very well documented with everything that has been done to try and raise the money. I highly suggest calling a local lawyer or even the court staff and asking some questions so that your friend can make an educated decision on the best course of action. As a general rule, the longer such a violation of a court order remains unaddressed, usually the worse it goes for the defendant. Finally, because it is a criminal case and your friend sounds as if he/she is indigent, he/she can ask for a court appointed attorney at any show cause or probation violation hearing.