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If I pay restitution can you still go to jail

Glen Burnie, MD |

I want to pay restitution and get this settled without going to jail

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Attorney answers 5


Yes, restitution can help avoid jail, but does not guarantee that you will not be incarcerated. You need an attorney to represent you, assert defenses, and protect your rights. Do not post any details on AVVO since this is a public forum and anything you post can be used against you. If you cannot afford private counsel, contact the Public Defender as soon as possible and no later than 10 business days before the court date.

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The short answer is that it depends, paying restitution doesn't hurt, but it doesn't mean the case is dismissed. Remember, that the charge is the State of Maryland vs you, not whoever restitution is being paid to. That means you need to deal with a prosecutor at some point and a judge at some point. You will probably want a lawyer on your side too. Many offer free consultations, or you can always apply with the public defenders office if you don't have any funds available.

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Perhaps, but there's no guarantee. Anyone might be charged with a crime, regardless of whether he or she has in fact broken the law. Paying restitution in advance might be used as evidence that you have done something wrong.

An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you evaluate the prosecution's case, any defenses that you might have, and any plea offer that might be made, so that you can decide whether to go to trial. Consider seeking a confidential consultation.

Information in the reply is provided as a public service. It is neither a comprehensive statement of the law nor legal advice, and no one should rely on it as such. If you have a legal problem or question, you should consult with an attorney, who can investigate the particular circumstances of your situation. Responding to a post does not constitute legal representation. I am not your lawyer, until we make an agreement and I receive my fee. Beware that posts and replies are not confidential. Anyone can read them.


I would not pay any restitution unless it was a part of a plea agreement that was already worked out.


Yes of course you can STILL go to jail. But there's no reason not to pay it. The "I'm not paying it if I'm going to jail" attitude ain't gonna work with ANY judge. This is why you need a good lawyer to settle it.

Nothing posted by Mr. Cleckner on Avvo or in response to an Avvo question or request is intended to be considered legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. For actual legal advice, please contact an attorney for a (usually free) in-depth consultation where your entire situation can be evaluated.

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