What to do if I am doing the first time offender program but can’t afford to pay the fine?

UPDATED: May 12, 2014

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What to do if I am doing the first time offender program but can’t afford to pay the fine?

I was with someone who stole groceries. I had to do 75 hours of community service and pay a $430 fine. I completed my community service hours but do not have the money for the fine. I am poor, unemployed because of this pending charge, and I have a young daughter to provide for. Whats going to happen at my court date if I did the hours but can’t pay the fine? Also, will this dismissed charge show up on future background checks? I work in healthcare and have had job offers taken back because of the pending charge, I’m worried with even an expunged I won’t be able to work in healthcare.

Asked on May 12, 2014 under Criminal Law, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I suggest that when you appear at the court date as written that you explain to the judge that you do not have the funds to pay and ask for a payment plan on a monthly basis that you can afford. Most judges that I know of will grant your request.

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