If I can’t pay a court imposed fine due to financial hardship, what can I do?

I plead guilty to a first time DUI charge and was put on probation. I was also to pay $144 a month for 12 months. I am on disabilty and only get $650 per month.

Asked on September 28, 2010 under Criminal Law, Georgia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Typically, a defendant can make an argument to have court costs/fines waived due to financial hardship. The court (sentencing judge), in its discretion, can decide whether or not to waive the fine/fees entirely or to at least provide for a reduced payment of such fines/fees, depending on the person's income/circumstances.  You did not indicate why you didn't bring this up at your sentencing.  At any rate, since you have already been sentenced it may be too late to make this request.  

Right now you should speak to the clerk of the court that you pled guilty in and ask about applying for some type of financial hardship relief now. Obviously, the sooner the better.  Otherwise, possibly Legal Aid or a like agency may be able to be of help.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.