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I have to go to court in Greensboro, NC for my first DWI. Will the judge give me time to pay fines and court cost?

Burlington, NC |
Attorney answers 3


If you go to court and have no money with which to pay the fines and surcharges, you can be pretty certain the Court will give you an adjournment or time to pay.

Speak to an attorney or the public defender's office before finalizing the case.

Good luck.


Frankly, jurisdictions vary on that point. For example, some places offer a "fine collection" program or a "compliance" or "payment due by" date, whereby people are given time to pay the various fees which can include court costs, fines and community service fees. That is normally in the discretion of the Judge in Court, considering local programs / rules. Other counties require payment, IN FULL, by 5:00p.m. the day of court. Greensboro is a jurisdiction that has the ability to give you time to pay, AGAIN THAT IS UP TO THE JUDGE and obviously he/she would likely require some information regarding financial need or hardship. It is not something one would "demand" or expect, but rather respectfully request the Court's indulgence. Probably more importantly, you may wish to seek assistance from legal counsel. North Carolina allows for the appointment of a lawyer when the accused is deemed "indigent." After filling out a Financial Affidavit, the Court would review the income & expenses, possibly ask questions and then decide whether appointment of counsel is legally appropriate. That too is discretionary and frankly, should not be assumed to be "free."


I agree with Mr. Robinson and Mr. Powers in that you should definitely seek the advice of local counsel before you enter a plea in this matter. Fines and court costs should be the least of your worries. A DWI conviction carries several penalties including a revocation of the defendant's driver's license, outrageous increases in insurance premiums and depending on the facts of the case, an active term of imprisonment.

That being said, Greensboro/Guilford County District Court Judges typically will allow a defendant 30 to 60 days to pay the court costs and fines associated with a DWI conviction. You will be assessed an additional $20 cost for the priviledge. It should be noted that if this is your first court date for the matter you will unlikely be able to enter a plea anyway. Greensboro structures its district criminal calanders whereby the only issue that is addressed on the defendant's first court date is his/her right to counsel. Then you will automatically get a new court date based on the arresting officers calandered court dates.