What to do if I can’t pay my restitution?

UPDATED: Jan 28, 2013

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What to do if I can’t pay my restitution?

I have to pay $800 in restitution but have been unable to pay more then $400 a month. The day of my sentence I was given 3 years probation and resitution. I informed the court that day that I didn’t have a job and would not be able to pay $800 a month but my husband told the court he would help me pay it. He has since loss income and we have have only been able to pay $400 a month, which I have paid every month but they have me in the system in vilation of my probation which is keeping anyone from hiring me. Is there anything I can do?

Asked on January 28, 2013 under Criminal Law, Virginia


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If you can prove an inability to pay, then this will serve as a defense to your probation violation.  If you cannot afford an attorney, request the court to appoint you one to help you raise this as a defense.  If this is your only issue, then the defense will help you avoid being revoked.

As a going forward, ask your attorney or probation officer if they can modify the conditions of your probation based on the change in circumstances that you noted in your questions.   They may have to extend your probation, but it will help your success on probation if you can extend the probation so that you can spread out the payments, thereby resulting in a lower monthly payment. 

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