How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27460
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My son will be sentenced to YO and three years probation for

Customer Question

My son will be sentenced to YO and three years probation for defacing a public pool and tennis court. He also has to pay restitution for the damage of about $3,000. I am hearing now that he will have to pay the restitution at sentencing or he will not get YO and will have 5 years probation. We don't have the money. Does the law give him time to pay the restitution or is it up to the judge or court?
My email [email protected]
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.

Before I answer this, can you tell me whether you are still in Criminal Court with this or State Supreme?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

He is still in Criminal court in Oneonta NY. He needs to go for sentencing tomorrow.


Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.

Complainants always want as much of their restitution as they can get up front, because otherwise, it can take a long time for a defendant to pay it off. If your son is getting YO, he's 16-18 years old and it's unlikely that he's working full time. The DA is counting on your being able to pay it off in advance, and he may be bluffing.

Here's what I see. The case is a felony and not yet indicted. The DA has offered to reduce it to a misdemeanor and give your son YO treatment and 3 years of probation. If you can't pay it off, he's saying that he'll rescind the deal, and maybe he will. but.. .

If he does, he will then have to put the case before a Grand Jury to get an indictment which means a lot of work and bother for him. And then, once the case is indicted and gets across the street, the judge in Supreme has the power to give your son YO, even over the DA's objection. The only difference would be, he'd get felony probation rather than misdemeanor probation, which is 5 years rather than 3.

All of this is by way of saying that you don't need the DA for YO. And because of that, the DA may be willing to let your son put as much down towards the restitution as he can and then pay off the rest. Because if he gets felony probation, it will take him 5 years to pay it off rather than 3, which the complainant will like a lot less than if you get what you want.

So what you want your lawyer to do tomorrow is to adjourn the sentence if necessary to see if he the DA will be willing to accept a partial lump sum in an amount that won't strap you and then regular payments from there. But you also will want to find out whether your lawyer thinks that there would be any reason for the Supreme Court arraignment judge to deny your son YO if this breaks down.

I think he'll be able to get the 3 years and YO all things considered. What you're asking for is not at all unreasonable.

Edited by FranL on 8/2/2010 at 7:18 PM EST
Zoey_ JD and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank You.....My sons arrest was one year ago a few weeks before his 17th birthday. He will be 18 8/9..he is working full time because he quit school and recieved his GED. He has saved about $1,000 which the lawyer has at this point. I was trying to stay out of this but its a small town and they think our family has money. We own a local manufaturing plant however its been hard trying to keep that profitable in this economic climate. I accept your answer but wanted to respond first.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for the accept. I understand the problem with small towns and preconceived notions. Whatever your circumstances, making it difficult for your son to pay this off by seeing to it that he had to do it himself would be a valid learning experience.

I think the DA will back down. I've called their bluff on similar matters only to have them get horrified and give me what was not unreasonable when I first asked for it to begin with. I can't promise that this is what will happen, but it should. The DA loses some of its clout if you're willing to let a case like this get indicted to get what you can better manage from the judge.

Good luck!