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

Answers:

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. 


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