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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23600
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I am from Tucson Arizona Ihave a question my probation

Customer Question

hi I am from Tucson Arizona Ihave a question my probation officer is telling me that I will get extended on probation if I do not pay my restitution I have already done 3 years probation and was already extended for another 3 that's for a total of 6 years I am getting close to getting off . my brother has less than a month left and I have about 3 months left so I want to be proactive on this matter.my probation officer tells me that I will never get off probation until the restitution is paid my question is is there a possibility of that is that even possible?or what will I have to do in order to talk to my p.o to get off probation I am willing to set up a court date and hire a lawyer if need be my original charges were theft by control my restitution is a tad bit under $60,000 if you need any more info I can reply with any other info that would be needed. oh yeah I was told by a previous attorney that was a public defender that I could only be extended one time my p.o says different. thank you for your time
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

What I have found in researching your state is that on a felony matter an Arizona judge can extend probation for up to 5 years, so long as he gives a defendant proper notice. So it would appear that your PO may be correct and that your judge can still give you two more years of probation.

Restitution has to be paid. There's no legal way out of that. But you don't have to remain on probation. What sometimes works in cases where the restitution amount is large and the defendant is unable to make large monthly payments without severe hardship and thus will never be able to pay it during his probation term, is to ask the judge if he would please enter the amount of remaining restitution as a civil judgment.

That would mean that probation would stop monitoring your payments and you'd be able to complete probation. It doesn't get you off the hook with restitution. You would still be required to pay it. But you wouldn't be violated or arrested for your failure to pay. It would be treated the same way as a civil judgment. That is, your wages, if any, and certain entitlements could be garnished, your assets could be attached, your credit could be ruined, and so forth.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What are the odds that my Judge would be willing to accept turning it into a civil judgement and also how would I go about such a thing would I talk to my probation officer about it?I have an appointment with him in the morning so would it be a good idea to try and talk to him about it and see if he would be Ok with it or should I try directly with the judge?if he is not ok with it which I kind of think he wouldn't be should I set up a court date to talk directly with the judge on this matter and if so would it be wise for me to bring an attorney or would a public defender be sufficient for this matter? also my brothers plea agreement is that he will not have a felony if he finishes his probation successfully he will only get a misdemeanor is there a possibility of him getting off since he doesn't necessarily have a felony? he will only have a class 6 misdemeanor if and when he does finish everything successfully. I would think that he would have a better chance than me at this am I correct?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

I can't give you odds. It's in the judge's discretion to be able to do it, and he will make that determination based on his own feelings about restitution and the facts and circumstances of the case.

In my experience, a court will first extend probation in almost all cases. However, where the debt is large and where the defendant has been paying as responsibly as possible but doesn't have enough funds to really pay it down, sooner or later I have found that the court and probation will not want to continue to be bill collectors and will ultimately pass the responsibility on to civil court.

The more times an extension is necessary through no fault of your own, the better the odds of getting a civil judgment

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also are you pretty sure that they can extend me for a total of 5 years? and if so what would I type on Google so that I can do more research on this matter as i was not able to find many good sources on this matter. when my probation officer tells me that we will be extended for an unlimited amount of time that is not the truth Correct. that is the part that scares me most. if I had to do two more years I could live with that I Just want to make sure that 2 more years will definitely be the end of my sentence. When i finish the next two years and finish total of 5 years total my restitution should automatically become a civil judgement? where at this time will I have to file paperwork with the judge or probation officer?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

I'm attaching where I saw about the 5 years. In your state's criminal procedure law itself, I only found that the judge had the power to extend probation. It did not specify how many times that could happen

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

As to where you would pay and what paperwork you'd need, the court would explain that to you at the time that your probation terminates.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Should I ask my officer tomorrow if I can turn my unpaid restitutions into a civil judgement is that the way that you would go about it?
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

No. Your probation officer cannot order that. This is something that only the judge can order. You have to ask the judge.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok would it be a good idea to try and set up a court date to ask the judge before the day I'm supposed to get off or should I wait until afterward to see what happens first? I'm thinking it would be a better idea to be proactive set up the court date talk to the judge about it am I correct?also how would I go about setting up a court date who do I have to talk to about such a thing would my probation officer help me in setting it up or is that something that I have to do for myself and would a public defender be sufficient?would I be ok by myself?or should I hire an attorney?Thanks
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 1 year ago.

Sorry about the delay. I left the computer to walk the dogs and have breakfast.

Probation can get the case back on the calendar for you, if they want to do that for you. Otherwise, it's easier to do this through a lawyer. A lawyer would also almost certainly frame a stronger argument for the civil judgment. A public defender is a fully credentialed lawyer The only difference is who they choose to work for. If you've got a public defender, call him or her and ask if the lawyer can make the argument. If you don't. you may want to get a free or reasonably priced consultation to find out how likely it is that your particular judge would agree to do this, before spending the money on private counsel.