You should probably contact an attorney in the jurisdiction where you have the old felony case. The attorney could try to negotiate a payment plan for you to pay the high restitution amount that you owe. You could always try to negotiate with the prosecutor's office regarding a payment plan yourself also. You want to try to get this problem resolved so that it doesn't continue to bother you in the future.
Juan Garcia Jr.
Attorney At Law
I agree that you should seek local counsel as soon as possible. In general, you will likely need to update the jurisdiction (where the original criminal matter was resolved) with your current contact information, determine who is handling your case, and attempt to agree on the best way to address the restitution in light of your financial situation. Local counsel should be able to advise you and assist in resolving this matter.
This response is for informational purposes only and is not offered as legal advice.
I am a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney and a former Assistant District Attorney. If you are able to pay any portion of the restitution - no matter how small - you should consider returning to Massachusetts and appearing at the District Court out of which your probation was supervised. If you appear voluntarily with some portion of the restitution and you are willing and able to enter into a payment agreement with the court, the court will be very likely to work with you as opposed to locking you up. In situations such as your's, the court just wants to see that you are making a good faith effort to pay and that you are not ignoring your responsibilty. The biggest problem you have is the length of time that has passed during which you have not paid the restitution. Over the past 13 years, you could have set aside $20 per week towards this obligation - that would have amounted to approximately $13,000. You need an attorney standing next to you who understands how these situations are evaluated and understands what to say to a judge in order to convince him or her to work with you on this issue. For a free consultation, call 774 254 4411. For more information, log onto www.AttorneyNickGordon.com
The fact that MA has not sough to extradite you from other states in the past in no way release you from any restitution obligation. The restitution you were ordered to pay is a condition of your probation; failure to pay the restitution is a violation of the probation; a violation of the probation could subject you sanctions including incarceration for the maximum time allowed by law.
When probationers tell the court that they did not pay restitution because they could not keep up with the payment plans, the court says to the probationer that they should have told their probationer officer of this problem and the court could have given the probationer more time to pay up.
You should save up as much money as you can to put towards paying off a good chunk of the outstanding restitution before attempting to go into court, with your lawyer, and resolving this matter. There is a good chance that if you walk in to court without a large sum to pay towards the restitution, the judge will order you held without bail pending a final probation violation hearing, given the age of the case, the amount of restitution and your not having done something to take care of the matter sooner.
I agree that you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney. If you are not able to find one on this site, I would be happy to recommend a colleague of mine with criminal defense experience and experience working with the district attorney's office. Best of luck!