How can I find out how much is owed and what the charges are, if my stepson has an outstanding case?

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How can I find out how much is owed and what the charges are, if my stepson has an outstanding case?

He apparently owes some restitution. He has contacted the authorities about resolving this but was told it must be addressed in person. He fears arrest if he returns.

Asked on December 3, 2012 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There are two potential ways of doing this without appearing in person and being arrested.  The first is to see if the clerk of the court in your jurisdiction has an online court system that posts financial information.  Not all clerks do, but some will list the receipts or balance for fines and court costs.  If they don't have an online system, so may give the info over the phone, but this is less common.

A second way is to hire a criminal defense attorney for the limited purpose of making a couple of calls and trying to find out the balance for you and your son.  This is usually the safest way (other than going through the clerk of the court), to find out info on the status of the case. It's also cheaper than hiring an attorney for full representation.  You may need or want to hire an attorney for full representation later-- but this way you'll have a better idea of what your son is facing before you start shopping around.


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