I have over 20,000 in victim restitution for property damage and someone had told me of a poper's motion that i could file (inability to pay) I was wondering if this was true and how i go about doing this...I was ordered to pay this as of november 2009 but i had 2 other warrants at the time i was released from one jail so i turned myself in to both places and came home at the end of february 2010. this restitution is due by may 2011 and i have no clue as to how i can pay off an amount like that. I also have 3300 restitution in another county and both want their payments asap and i just landed a part time job and cant afford one of these. Preferably the larger. Please let me know what i can do.
State/Country relating to Question: Indiana
the judge said that i could contest the restitution amount by a certain date, and i had kept in contact with the public defender at the time to see when i could get the final restitution amount (to see if i wanted to contest) but the lawyer hardly kept in contact and i didnt get the paperwork until after i was released from jail and had to see probation for my interstate compact, leaving me no option to contest this amount.
You can file a motion for an indigency hearing (pauper hearing) to have the court determine if it is reasonable for you to be expected to pay back the restitution. Your public defender should have objected at any sentencing hearing as the fact that you have a PD is prima facia evidence of indigency.
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12 years practicing criminal defense.
would it be best if i contacted the same public defender that i was assigned or should i hire a lawyer, and what steps (like paperwork) are needed to get this started?
The PD would likely not be too helpful as he is the one who should have done this initially so I would talk to a private attorney. It would just require the attorney to file the motion to have you declared indigent and set aside/lower the restitution amount.
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