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Juliana
Juliana, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 1651
Experience:  23 years of experience; former prosecutor, magistrate, child support attorney
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I showed up to court after receiving a bench warrant and pled

Resolved Question:

I showed up to court after receiving a bench warrant and pled that I would pay $700. I lost my job and cannot pay this amount. Can I go back to court and see a judge to get it changed to community service?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Juliana replied 4 years ago.

Hello,

Thanks for your question.

I suggest you contact the court that is handling your case, advise the clerk that you've had a change of circumstances (loss of employment), and that as a result, you are now unable to pay the $700 fine that you agreed to pay. Depending on that court's particular procedures, you may have to file a written motion to request a modification of the court's order. Or, you may not have to file a written motion - the clerk may be able to simply set your case for a hearing so that you can appear and advise the judge of your current situation, and then he/she can decide whether a modification of the court's order is appropriate.

I think the court will appreciate the fact that you are aware of your current financial situation - many defendants are not, and if they no longer have the money to pay, they will simply ignore the court's order, which may ultimately result in them being held in contempt of court - and it will be more willing to work with you to find an alternative disposition for your case, or possibly give you a break from making your payments (i.e., stay the court's existing order) until you have gotten another job and can start making payments again. It is worth a try.

Good luck!

Juliana

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Can I file those written motions for myself, or will I have to have an attorney do it for me?
Expert:  Juliana replied 4 years ago.

Yes, you can file the motion yourself, or, you can hire an attorney. The choice is up to you.

Juliana

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