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Can my wages be garnished in South Carolina for federal restitution in a criminal case?

Columbia, SC |

I am off of probation since 2009 and they are starting to send me demands for payment. Do I have to worry about them garnishing my wages? Doesn't this amount become a federal civil matter now?

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Attorney answers 2


Yes. Restitution can be collected by the Government after your sentence expires as any other civil judgment, but it is not necessary for the Government to initiate a separate legal action (18 USC Section 3613).

Joshua Sabert Lowther, Esq.


If the Federal Government obtains an ordinary civil judgment, wages cannot be garnished in South Carolina. Wage garnishment is not available in South Carolina to collect civil judgments. However, there are some debts for which garnishment is available, such as child support obligations and federal taxes. I do not know if the debt associated with you criminal case provides for wage garnishment or if it would result in a civil judgment.

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