Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Unpaid Court Fines and How to Stay Out of Jail

Stay Out of Jail

Cause of Arrest

A very common cause of arrest and incarceration in Arizona is caused indirectly by not paying your fine or restitution on a traffic complaint or criminal matter. I use the word "indirectly" because most Arizona courts don't arrest you for not paying your fine, but they do arrest you for Failing to Appear in court. Let me explain.

When you are sentenced for a case that requires the payment of a fine or restitution, you make an agreement with the court to pay the fine immediately, or you set up a payment plan. If you fail to pay in a timely manner, or not at all, the court will send out a notice demanding payment. If you still don't make a payment, or offer an excuse, the court will summons you to a Show Cause hearing, wherein the judge ask you to explain why you have not complied with a court order.

Failure to Appear

The reason most people get arrested is not for failing to pay a fine, but for failing to appear in court once summoned. As it happens, most people are scared to death of court and they believe that if they can't offer a good excuse for non-payment, the court will arrest them. This couldn't be further from the truth, the court arrests you for not appearing when so ordered. Once you appear, the court will generally re-establish your payment plan. The court wants your money, not your hide.

Advice to everyone that owes the court money:

  1. Set up your payment plan with the lowest monthly deposit allowed.
  2. Pay off your debt as quickly as possible...make double payments.
  3. If you miss a payment, call the court and put it in writing what your excuse is and,
  4. If you are summoned to court, by all means go.

If you follow our advice, you won't end in jail.

Original Article:
Phoenix Bail Bonds

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