Can I have court fines dismissed due to financial hardship?

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Can I have court fines dismissed due to financial hardship?

My daughter is 3 months old and I have court fines and am currently on probation. With taking care of my daughter, rent and many other bills its very frustrating to pay my court fines off. I would like to know if there is any way to have them dismissed? I have $430 left on them from $1,200; my payments have come to about $40 a month which is about half what of what I am supposed to be paying.

Asked on September 20, 2010 under Criminal Law, Ohio

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

On one hand, a defendant can usually make an argument to have court costs/fines waived due to financial hardship.  Depending on the circumstances, it is usually within the discretion of the sentencing judge whether or not to grant this request.  On the other hand, if you have already been sentenced, then it may be too late to make this request.  Therefore, if you have already been sentenced, it is of the utmost importance that you continue to pay these fines.  Your failure to do so may put your freedom in jeopardy, and in all reality, if you are locked up you will not be able to pay any bills or care for your daughter.  Good luck.


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