Can my parole officer take my tax return for a restitution payment?

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Can my parole officer take my tax return for a restitution payment?

My parole officer says he is going to take my tax return for restitution. Is he able to do that? he also wants to up my monthly payments even though I have been paying them since he set it. I am the only one working and I have a family of five to provide for and simply cannot afford above the already set amount. He says he doesn’t have to take in account my financial status or capability to pay if he doesn’t want to. He has threatened to revoke if I do not give my tax return or pay more. Also do you have to completely pay restitution before getting released from parole?

Asked on October 1, 2010 under Criminal Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Speak with an attorney--you may be being extorted illegally here. Parol offices do not decide how much someone should pay for restitution; that is something the courts do, as part of your sentencing or settlement. And no one can simply take a tax refund without a court order, or change the terms of restitution unilterally. Parole officers enforce parole terms--they don't make them. This may be a case where the parole office is trying to pocket your money for himself. If at all possible, speak with a criminal defense attorney; if you can't find one, try legal aid, or try local law schools (which sometimes offer "clinics" to help people in trouble with the criminal system who don't have other options) or try contacting your state bar association--they may be able to refer you to an attorney who will represent you "pro bono"; for free.


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