Skip to main content

Will I go to jail for honestly missing my community service?

Vancouver, WA |

Does it sound like I'm going to jail? Please be serious, I'm scared?
Okay so back in August 2012 I got busted shoplifting exactly 1 month after turning 18. This is my first offense doing anything bad. They sentenced me to 48 hours community service (that includes the $300 court fine I chose to work off with community service.) In the mean time, a lot of things happen. I become homeless, I have to drop out of college, I escaped a severely abusive situation, and I had some other problems. I only got 13 hours done of my community service, sadly and since I left the abusive house, I didn't get the mail telling me I owed the court $300 until it was too late! So now I have 35 hours of unfinished work crew AND I owe them $300.

I did not have an attorney and I was not called in on a probation violation. I also had 3 extensions on my due date for the community service to be finished with.

Attorney Answers 3


Did you have an attorney assisting you through the process when you were originally charged? If so, you may want to call your former attorney to see if they can assist you further. If not, ultimately the decision on what punishment you receive, if any, will depend on the discretion of the Judge. Were you summonsed to court for a probation violation? If so, and if you didn't have an attorney assisting you the first time through, you should request to be screened for a court appointed attorney to assist you with your probation violation. An attorney will be in the best position to assist you through this process and present your case in a compelling manner to the Court. There is a chance the court could convert your community service time to jail and/or work crew, but there is also a chance that (s)he could just reassign all unmet conditions and give you another chance. It is ultimately the Judge's call.

Jeff Holmes - Attorney at Law - - 360.975.9288. Disclaimer: This answer does not constitute legal advice. This information is based on general principles of law, as well as my general experience that may or may not relate to your specific situation. This information is not meant to take the place of actually consulting an Attorney in your jurisdiction. If you would like legal advice, I would recommend consulting an attorney in your locale.

Mark as helpful

2 lawyers agree


I agree with the other answer, but I would also suggest that you check with the court to ensure that no violation hearing was set, and to give the court an updated mailing address, if you have not done so already. If a hearing is set, you need to know about it, and you will need to show up and deal with this. It will just get worse if you miss it.

Mark as helpful

1 lawyer agrees


You have good mitigating circumstances to give you time however there are problems that have been your fault in not getting this done in a timely fashion so you could be looking at jail time if the Judge is feed-up with your lack of due diligence. Good Luck.

Mark as helpful

Criminal defense topics

Recommended articles about Criminal defense

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics