What will happen if my wife was ordered to pay $75 a month for restitution but has been unable to do so and now must appear in court for contempt?

She is a diabetic and has been sick a lot this year. As a result, the doctor bills (no insurance) and missed work caused her to be unable to make the restitution payments on 2 occasions and paid $50 of the $75 on 2 other occasions. She got a notice for a post-show cause contempt hearing. We have done some reading online and know what the maximum penalties are but other than that we have no idea what to expect. I know she gets a chance to show cause, however if the judge doesn’t believe her, do I need to be prepared for her to go to jail that day or do we have to go back again?

Asked on July 26, 2014 under Criminal Law, Alabama


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Get ready. Get her medical records ready, possible doctor's affidavits. You need to press the point that she has substantially complied and she needs an extended payment plan.  She may go to jail if the judge is tough but quite honestly, it is a minimal amount due. If she had counsel, contact that lawyer again. 

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.