Getting an attorney will help. If you did not make your payment as ordered by the court you are looking at a potential probation violation and can be sentenced to jail time.
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Many judges will not violate your probation for not paying if you truly do not have the money. HOWEVER, it is still vitally important that you keep all of your scheduled probation appointments, and do everything else because if you miss an appointment or fail to complete the other requirements those are separate violations of your probation. If the issue is that you truly don't have the money let the judge know, but make sure you meet your other probation terms and conditions.
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. 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.
Most jurisdictions consider that you are not eligible for a public defender for a probation revocation, so you would need to hire a private attorney if you want representation, which is something you need to do if you are at all able. Given that, the fact that the probation officer has not revoked your probation already, and wants to set a hearing is a good sign. A Judge will not likely revoke your probation for failure to pay if you can prove that you are truly unable to pay. If the revocation is based on new charges or failure to do community service, report, or failing a drug screen is another matter. If you are unable to hire an attorney, just make sure to continue showing up for probation meetings and comply with all of the other conditions of your probation. Then, if a hearing is set, make sure to be able to articulate to the judge your exact financial situation, how much you have paid into probation so far, and all of the efforts you have made to pay and to find employment. If the Judge feels that you have made every effort to complete your probation and pay your fines, you may be ok. However, he will not accept any lame excuses, so go into this prepared to explain everything and back it up as if your freedom depended on it.
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You need to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. In addition, get caught up on the monies owed immediately. The judge can revoke your probation and require you to serve jail time for failing to comply with the requirements of probation.
Ideally, paying your fines and fees before your hearing would greatly help, but it sounds like you cannot do so. Get proof that you lost your job if possible. Keep going to see your probation officer and keep your appointments regardless of if you cannot pay. Missing your appointments is worse than missing payments. It sounds like you've done a good job so far and the judge should take that in consideration should you actually have a probation revocation hearing. If at all possible, get an attorney to represent you.
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