Can a county probation department require me to pay for community service if I am medically unable to complete it?

I was given 240 hours of community service as part of a 4 year probation on a theft charge. I was recently declared medically unable to complete my CS due to a permanent disability. I am now being told I am required to pay $5 per hour assigned. Can they do this? Wouldn’t this require a court order? Can they change the punishment given without a probation violation or revocation hearing?

Asked on September 8, 2010 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am sure that they have the power to change the terms of the probation if the need be.  But I am also pretty sure that you have the right to be heard when they do so.  It appears not that you refuse to do your community service but rather that it has been determined that you can not.  That is a good thing as failure to comply can come with it hefty penalties and fines.  I would call and speak with your defense attorney about the the possibility of having a hearing to modify the terms of your probation given your medical condition.  Your situation needs to be "humanized" before a Judge who can listen as to what you limitations financially and physically are.  But I would come up with a viable alternative for the Judge,  You need to complete probation some how and under some conditions.  Good luck.


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