Last updated on March 31, 2015

Can A Person Receive A Payment Plan From The Court?

Technically, the court rules of Michigan require all fines and costs to be paid at the time of sentencing. Some judges are stricter about this than others. Usually, the ones who are the strictest will tell you at a prior court date the amount of money you must bring.

However, courts recognize that many defendants before them cannot afford to pay everything at once. They will usually work with you. They want to see some effort and some good faith payment to start with. Often, they will make a payment plan with you.

If I Am Unable to Pay the Fine According to The Payment Plan, What Will Happen?

In Michigan, they don’t allow the debtor’s prison. Therefore, if you successfully complied with all other terms and conditions of your probation, and you can demonstrate to the court that you have made a good effort, then usually, they don’t put you in jail.

However, if you’ve made any other mistakes on your probation, and you haven’t paid them money, then you’re simply giving them the excuse to lock you up.

Do People Typically Get in Trouble Paying Fines or Is It An Easy Process?

People have trouble fairly often. Most people do discover the way to pay their fines. However, when they cannot, the court brings people in to prove they couldn’t pay.

Does the Court Ever Notify People or Send Mail?

Usually, the court sends a notice. This is why you should not be held in contempt for failing to follow the court’s order of paying fines.

Can a Person Make Payments Over the Internet or By Mail? Does It Have to Be in Person?

In Michigan, most of the courts will allow you to mail in checks for your fines. Some places can allow payments online or over the phone. It’s not as difficult as it may seem.

Now, for those who don’t have checking accounts, for those who don’t have credit cards, it becomes more difficult.They’re dealing with cash, instead, and they have to show up.

What Sort of Crimes Result in Immediate Jail Time?

In some courts, a first offense of drunk driving results in jail time. In most courts, the second offense of drunk driving results in jail time.In all courts, the third offense of drunk driving results in jail time.

In many courts, assaultive crimes result in jail time. These involve things like domestic violence, felonious assault, assault with intent to do great bodily harm, aggravated assault, people with possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession of heroin, people who have been in any previous trouble and retail frauds that involve clients with previous trouble.

Most crimes can result in jail time once people have a previous record. For many, we can negotiate probation with no jail time, especially if the person has a clean record.

Therefore, much depends not on the crime but on the circumstances, the prior record, and the particular judge.

What Different Options Do People Have Instead of Jail?

Typically people are not presented with options. The decision about what will happen is imposed. Thusly, their option is how they present themselves to the court at a time of sentencing and during the case to make the best possible impression on the judge.

Hopefully, the judge will decide to give a fine or probation, without jail time. Then, during the term of probation, he will impose reasonable conditions to keep an eye on you. These generally won’t make your life miserable.

For more information on Payment Plans For Fines, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (248) 451-2200 today.

Posted in: Criminal Defense
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