Monday, October 6, 2014

Probation / Extension / Violation / Payments / Restitution / Michael A. Haber, Esq. **ARRESTED / **305DUI

Q:  Okay. I had a motion on the 17th September and the judge denied my request to extend probation which is due on December to pay off my restitution but said that if I showed good faith effort do make payments, that I would have to be before him and he would grant deal or lien until all the restitution is finalized. Now, I called my Probation Office cause I needed to reschedule my monthly appointment, only to be told that I had a warrant for violation of probation which I don't understand why. Now I'm filing a motion for order show cause to see judge on the 16th to hear my case yet again. Question is, what did I do to get a violation? I'm making payments weekly for my restitution, so what can the judge do? I have am excellent job now as a store manager and will lose it if I go to jail.

A:  You are asking the wrong folks. 

We (cyber-lawyers) cannot tell you why you have a warrant.

You need a real world lawyer to investigate your case and then to piece together a defense to keep you out of jail and gainfully employed.

My advise is that you get offline and into a skilled and experienced 813 area criminal defense lawyers office asap.

Warrants are p-o-i-s-i-o-n. Plain and simple. You have to tackle them head on or they will take you down, with prejudice.

As for the monetary component of your question: There is no such thing as a debtor's prison in the US or FL. That said, if you willfully and substantially fail to comply with the conditions of your probation - including making court ordered payments - then a violation can be filed and, if the court finds that you both willfully and substantially failed to comply then you can be incarcerated.

But in order to incarcerate you for failure to pay the court must first hold a hearing and afford you due process, including a right to present evidence that your failure to make your Court Ordered payments was not willful - that is to say that you could not (not that you chose not to) make the payments. If you truly could not then your violation should not be considered "willful", and without that necessary component you cannot be violated and incarcerated.

The Court has other alternatives to jailing you; namely it can choose to extend your probation (so as to afford you more time to pay) or it can convert your payments into what is referred to as a "criminal order" (a non-dischargeable debt which you can be held to pay even after your probation is terminated).

All of this said, if you know that you will not be able to make your payments (as it appears from your question) then you will be best advised NOT to wait for your PO to violate you and instead you should consider causing the matter to be brought before Judge beforehand - thereby hopefully impressing your Judge by your preemptive demonstration of a respectable level of acceptance of responsibility.

If you truly cannot make your payments and if you have a lawyer then you should discuss this with her / him and have a preemptive motion filed; if not then you should consider asking your PO if s/he will assist you to get the matter in front of the Judge now, as opposed to waiting for an imminent violation.

Either way so long as you are not spending your money on superfluous things and you are truly strapped for cash (and given your tragic familial issues) then I am confident that the good Judges of the 13th Judicial Circuit will show some compassion and understanding to your situation.

I hope that I have been helpful in answering your question.
First, second and third: No attorney-client relationship exists by virtue of any Q&A with Michael A. Haber, Esq. on Avvo. Fourth: Anything that you post on Avvo (or on similar sites) or on any social media is by its nature public. It is essentially an admission / confession and can be introduced into evidence as a statement against your interest in a subsequent legal proceeding. Once posted you lose any reasonable expectation of privacy, so, as this is an open forum (with no privilege attached), please be extra careful when considering what to post online (forewarned is forearmed.) 

For more than 23 years Michael A. Haber, P.A. has been providing creative, effective and zealous advocacy and counsel in cases ranging from DUI to drug trafficking and from misdemeanors to first degree murder.  

At Michael A. Haber, P.A. "Its all about reasonable doubt"!

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1-888-SHARK-8-1, 305-381-8686, 305-798-2220, **ARRESTED, **305DUI, **MIAMIDUI, **MIAMILAW or **HABERLAW.

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