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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117460
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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Cannot afford to pay restitution in criminal case. 5 years

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Cannot afford to pay restitution in criminal case. 5 years of probation and am in 5th year.

Have only paid $9,000 of an ordered $45,000 over the years. I am 75 years old and unable to get employment. Live on Social Security.

I have received a show cause order as to why I haven't paid the full amount. In VA Beach, VA
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

What is your specific question about your situation for us?

Is this in VA court or federal court?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

A case in Virginia Beach, Va Circuit Court. docketed for October 10, 2013.


Should I request a court appointed defender or go pro se.


What should I expect the judge to do in either case.

I am 6 months from end of probation and I have paid as I could over the past 4.5 years.

Thank you for your response.

Because the order to show cause can result in you being found guilty of a probation violation and being sent to jail, you MOST DEFINATELY should obtain an attorney and you should request the public defender.

If a person has not paid off court ordered restitution before the end of probation, the court can hold you in violation of your probation and put you in jail for up to the entire length of your original sentence or they have the option upon you showing proof of financial impossibility to pay the restitution to waive the remainder due and this is what your attorney will have to argue for and will have to prove by producing your detailed financial records. This restitution is part of your sentence and if you do not complete it, then they can also extend your probation and make you continue paying in lieu of putting you in jail, so you really should have an attorney to fight to prove that it is financially impossible for you to repay the money and ask the court to waive or reduce the money due in lieu of jail and many times, given your age and situation the judges will agree to modify the amount due to something more affordable and will extend your probation, that is the common action the courts will take.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Can I request a public defender before the hearing date or do I have to request in front of the judge on the hearing date?

You can go to the PD's office before the hearing date to speak to them about your options in the case and they will ask for your proof you cannot afford representation and will agree to represent you the date of the hearing.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks....last question....will a chapter 7 bankruptcy affect the restitution order?

Thank you for your response.

Generally, no, bankruptcy will not extinguish a court ordered criminal restitution or back taxes or any other government debts.
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