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JB Umphrey
JB Umphrey, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 20233
Experience:  Handling criminal and probation matters for over 14 years.
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I wrote a bad check in 2006, not knowing that the money was

Customer Question

I wrote a bad check in 2006, not knowing that the money was not in the bank because my husband took the business money. I have been making payments faithfully for over 5 years and have been on probation for this amount of time, with no problems. They say that I cant get off of probation until the money that i didnt take is paid back. I cant even get a job because of this. Is there a limit to how long I can be on Probation?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
Hi and thank you for using JustAnswer!

I am sorry to learn of this experience. Please clarify: did you plead guilty to a felony charge? Do you know which one, specifically?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

No, I plead guilty to a misdemeanor 1, because I didn't have $7000 to go to trial. It was a technicality because I had put my husbands name on the business accounts therefore he could do whatever he wanted. I didnt know what he had done till it was to late.

Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. In Pennsylvania, not having your balance paid in full before the expiration of your probation period is a violation of the conditions of your probation. Therefore, as with violating any other rules/regulations of parole/probation, you are subject to have your sentence revoked and reinstated/resentenced to continue on probation until your balance is paid in full.

Thus, the court can keep a person on supervision until the balance is paid. That is the limit. The limit is based upon action -- not the mere passage of time.

It has been my pleasure to assist you today with your information needs. It is my goal that you are satisfied. No expert can promise you an answer that is favorable to your circumstances. But I will do my very best to explain the legal principles that are related to the facts you’ve described so that you can better understand the “why” of things.

If you have a follow-up question, please reply and ask it.

If you have other questions on different matters, you can ask me at Or there are also other Experts ready to assist you in a range of Legal specialties, Veterinary, Cars and others – you can reach them via the homepage.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The court put me on probation and I have a criminal record for something that was not my doing and they expect me to pay back money that I did not take and do not have and since I dont have the money to fight back, I have to live with it! I cant even get a minimum wage job because of this. There is something sooo wrong with this!!!

Expert:  JB Umphrey replied 5 years ago.
I understand why this seems to be a cycle of insanity.

From a legal perspective, however, it is no longer an issue of whether or not YOU took any money. With the guilty plea that matter is no longer in dispute. By your plea of guilty, in the eyes of the law, you are responsible for restitution. There could have been a trial to fight the allegations if you wanted. If you could not have afforded an attorney, you could have been represented by a court-appointed attorney. That's looking back. At this juncture, however, what's done is done and it's not possible to withdraw the guilty plea and seek a trial.

And, yes, this type of conviction does make a job search for any job -- let alone a good one -- incredibly hard. Some folks find that self-employment can be their only source of income.

I wish very much that I could offer you an answer that was more favorable to your circumstances, but the law seems to be pretty clear. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

I hope you understand.