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S. Huband, Esq.
S. Huband, Esq., Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 1628
Experience:  Experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
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how can I get my restitution abated as I am the defendant?

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how can I get my restitution abated as I am the defendant?
Thank you for the opportunity to assist you.

Q) How can I get my restitution abated as I am the defendant?

You can file a motion to modify your sentence. Since you are required to pay restitution, you were apparently convicted of a crime. Restitution was made a part of the sentence for this conviction. You can ask the judge to reduce the amount of restitution you owe, even down to zero, or you can ask the judge to reduce the payment amount you owe.

Your basis for modifying the sentence is that you have consistently paid restitution payments in good faith over the past several years, you have stayed out of trouble and haven't gotten new convictions (I'm assuming this is true), and that you are now in a financial hardship and cannot make ends meet. Hopefully the judge will have some understanding for your situation and will take into account all of the positive things you've done since your earlier run in with the law.

Be aware that a Superior Court (trial court) in Arizona does not have inherent authority to modify a sentence. State v. Falkner, 112 Ariz. 372 (1975). In fact, the only statutory authority for modifying a sentence imposed by the Superior Court is by rule 24.3 of the Arizona Rules of Criminal Procedure. That rule is strictly limited by time and it is for unlawful sentences or lawful sentences that were unlawfully imposed, neither of which appears to apply to your situation.

So, a judge could say to you, "Sorry. You've done really well, and I recognize and appreciate your efforts, but I do not have the authority to grant this motion."

Finally, what exactly is on collections? Is that your court costs, or the actual restitution? If a debt organization bought your restitution debt from the court and paid the court on your behalf, and now in turn you owe the debt organization, there may be nothing left to modify with the court. In other words, if this is true, the court considers itself paid in full.

I've heard of people having their unpaid court costs turned over to a debt collection agency, but I've NEVER heard of this happening with restitution. If you have additional information on this topic, I'll be happy to elaborate.

I hope my response has been helpful. If you have follow-up questions or concerns on this topic, please ask. Otherwise, please rate my answer positively so that I can receive credit for my work. Doing so will NOT cost you any additional fee.

Take care,
Shuband
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