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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23209
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was deemed a habitual driving offender more than 3 years

Customer Question

I was deemed a habitual driving offender more than 3 years ago. I am stubborn, got caught driving 3 times and got 3 one year sentences stacked. I served part of the time but was paroled on Dec 8, 2014. I should be off parole but i am scared to contact my officer. Unforseen family troubles sent me spiraling in the wrong direction. I've complied with everything i was asked to do but i owe fines. I am ready and willing to pay in full. I am afraid i might have a warrant. How can I solve my situation without going back to jail?
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 days ago.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. When did you stop reporting to your Parole officer? Have the police been trying to find you or have you received any notice about a warrant?

Customer: replied 10 days ago.
the last time i reported was October of 2015. I was on a every 3 months reporting schedule so Jan. 2016 was my first no-show. My parole officer knew I'd had an extraordinary family TRAGEDY therefore I do not believe a violation was issued at that time. I do not like to make excuses but I believe with all my heart I had a nervous breakdown. I'm scared to contact her because I just can't hear more bad news. DUH RIGHT. I was supposed to be finished with the whole thing Sept. 21 but I know I must owe money
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 10 days ago.

Thanks for the reply and sorry for the delay.

You already must know that as scared as you are to confront this issue, you are making a mountain out of a possible molehill by doing nothing to help yourself. Yes, you're scared, but the longer you delay in trying to set things right, the higher the likelihood that jail will be your only option.

Contact the lawyer who assisted you with this case and get him to find out if there's a warrant. If you've got the money to pay the fines, have him arrange a return on the warrant if there is one by contacting your Parole and see if they will let you pay the fines. If Parole already knows of your family tragedy, and you can document with some kind of evidence that you had a breakdown, you may well be able to avoid jail. If you are violated, your lawyer would have to demonstrate that you were not deliberately ducking your Parole obligation but that you were in the throes of a tragedy and had a breakdown. And, as soon as you became stable again, you took steps to have Parole contacted and to pay your fines.

In short, Parole is going to violate you when you return, because that's what Parole has to do. But that doesn't mean they will return you to jail if you were not intentionally ducking your obligations.

I'm sure this isn't what you want to hear. But the quicker you get over your fears and bite the bullet, the better your chances that Parole will be sympathetic. And, of course, if there is no warrant yet, why wait until there is one and risk an arrest and an involuntary return.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 days ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.

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