Often the DA will dismiss an accident citation if you bring proof that your insurance company will pay to fix the car of the person you hit. Another option is to ask for a PJC which usually just has Court costs and no fine.
I have seen judges do helpful things for people in financial problems. The only thing the ADA can do is either reduce the charge or dismiss. Most don't like to dismiss. Assuming you couldn't get the ADA to dismiss, you would plead guilty to the judge.
There are two issues here --- first, ask for a PJC (if you haven't had any PJC's in 3 years, the judge will most likely grant it --- helps with insurance).
Second - be honest with the judge. Tell him that you don't have the money and one of three things will happen. (1) He will have you come back at a time when you think you have the money; (2) He will work out a payment plan; or (3) he will allow you to do community service in lieu of payment.
Sometimes I have seen judges ask the defendant how much money they have in their pocket and fine them a portion of that!
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