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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
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Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
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How can magistrates in pa continue to add extra jail time

Customer Question

How long can magistrates in pa continue to add extra jail time for becoming delinquent on fines while already incarcerated?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
Actually, non-payment of fines is considered contempt of court, which is a separate offense from the original crime the person is incarcerated for. On contempt of court, the court can continue to add time for each time their order is not complied with. So if there are fines and they are not paid, the magistrate can add jail time every time the fine is not paid by the date he specifies and there is no limit in the law to stop him. It is going to take an attorney locally to file a motion to waive the fine and prove significant financial hardship and that it is impossible to pay the fine to ask the court to add jail time or community service time upon release and waive any fines.

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