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I was convicted of first-time DUI. What do I do if I can't pay the fines and court fees?

Hull, GA |

I was charged with DUI (drug prescribed for mental health anxiety). The blood test only showed prescribed meds under the prescription limit, and no alcohol. I backed into a truck that was at the gas pump at night in the rain.

I was found guilty for my first DUI. I'm disabled, on fixed income (SSI), and can't afford probation and court fees. I am unable to do community service. Is there any way they can make me pay, or can it be waived?

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Attorney answers 4


If you truly cannot pay they cannot force you to pay. This is something you are going to have to be very vocal with your probation officer about. Also, make sure you make all of your probation appointments, and do everything else you are supposed to do. Not being able to pay. is one thing, but if you stop doing everything else then you will give them more ammunition to use against you.

James L. Yeargan, Jr. is licensed to practice law in the State of Georgia. All information given is based only on Georgia law, and is not directly applicable to any other jurisdictions, states, or districts. Any answer given assumes the person who asked the question holds a Georgia Drivers License, and this license is not a commercial drivers license (CDL). This response, or any response, is not legal advice. This response, or any response, does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information. Any state specific concerns should be directed to an attorney who is licensed to practice law in that respective state.


They usually have community service available for all types of people, disabled or not. I would go talk to the community service coordinator in your court ASAP and try to get the fines taken care of that way. If they really have no positions available that you could perform, you'll want to get back in court and come up with a resolution Before you end up with a probation violation.


Your fine payment cannot be waived. The imposition of a fine is mandatory under the DUI law. Although your probation cannot be revoked if you can show an inability to make fine payments, you have proven on this site that you have some ability to pay. You are conversing over the internet via the use of a computer/smartphone or other electronic device. That requires two things: (1) you have a computer (an asset that can be sold/pawned); and (2) you have internet access (a non-essential service that can be cut off in order to use the monthly payment to pay for your probation). Having a fixed income is not a legal excuse for failing to comply with the financial obligations of your probation. Everyone who lives on a salary or retirement also has a fixed income. It may be more than your income, but it is still fixed. There are many services that you may have that are non-essential/optional. Cable/satellite t.v. , internet service and cellular telephones are three prime examples. Moreover, you may have some unnecessary assets that can be sold/pawned to pay your financial obligations (e.g., computers, televisions, radios, tabletop microwaves, jewelry, etc.). You need to make every effort to comply with the financial obligations of your probation. Otherwise, you could wind up doing the rest of your sentence in the county jail.


In Georgia the DUI statute requires the payment of a fine. If you are having problems making the required payments - tell your probation officer! And make sure that you go to your probation meetings, even if you don't have the money to make the payment. Don't stop doing everything else that you are required to do just because you don't have the money. But you may have a problem convincing your probation officer or the court that you can't pay if you own a vehicle, home, furniture, cell phone/cell phone service, home computer or lap top etc.. I hope this information is helpful to you.
George McCranie

The information provided in this response to a question is not legal advise and is provided only for general information purposes. My response should not be taken as legal advise as no attorney / client representation exists. Additionally, the information given in this answer is specific to the State of Georgia only and should not be applied to any other state.

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