I have been paying my probation fees/restitution on time, I got a phone call today from my public defender saying she needs me to sign a paper saying that the first thing that will be paid off is the restitution. Do I have to sign this?
2 Answers from Attorneys
I can think of nothing that would be more foolish than ignorin g what your lawyer tells you to do.
Why is this posted here? You have a criminal law question.
Really - why on earth would you ask attorneys who are unfamiliar with your situation and who have not seen the document in question? The answer is that you are hoping to hear the answer that you want to hear, i.e., that you can just blow this off.
You have already shown bad judgment by (a) committing a crime and (b) by being stupid enough to get caught. Take a page out of the banksters' playbook - if you are rich and powerful, you can get away with crimes. If you are poor (and bonus points for being a minority), you get to be a warm body in the prison-industrial complex. Since you are posting here, I assume you are not in the same social circles as banksters Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein.
Criminal victims are entitled to restitution so you will have to pay it along with the court fines. I agree with Attorney Ashman - common sense would tell you that if your criminal attorney calls and needs you to sign something then you should do it. Besides, the prison-industrial complex is just itching for you to violate one of the many conditions of your probation so they can send you back to the cross-bar hotel. If I were you, I would not tempt fate and give them an excuse.
§ 17-10-20. Collection of fines and restitution in criminal cases
(a) In any case in which a fine or restitution is imposed as part of the sentence, such fine and restitution shall constitute a judgment against the defendant. Upon the request of the prosecuting attorney, it shall be the duty of the clerk of the sentencing court to issue a writ of fieri facias thereon and enter it on the general execution docket of the superior court of the county in which such sentence was imposed. Such fieri facias may also be entered on the general execution docket in any county in which the defendant owns real property.
(b) If, in imposing sentence, the court sets a time certain for such fine or restitution to be paid in full, no execution shall issue upon the writ of fieri facias against the property of the defendant until such time as the time set by the court for payment of the fine or restitution shall have expired.
(c) If the fine or restitution is not paid in full, such judgment may be enforced by instituting any procedure for execution upon the writ of fieri facias through levy, foreclosure, garnishment, and all other actions provided for the enforcement of judgments in the State of Georgia and in other states and foreign nations where such judgment is afforded full faith and credit under the Uniform Foreign Money Judgments Act or domestication thereof.
(d) If the fine is not paid in full by the expiration of the time set by the court for payment of the fine, the governing authority of the county or municipality entitled to such fine may institute procedures to enforce such judgment as provided by subsection (c) of this Code section.
(e) If the restitution is not paid in full by the expiration of the time set by the court for payment of the restitution, the prosecuting attorney or the victim entitled to receive such restitution may institute procedures to enforce such judgment as provided by subsection (c) of this Code section.
(f) Notwithstanding the provisions of Code Section 9-12-60, a judgment entered on the general execution docket pursuant to this Code section shall not become dormant during any period when the defendant is incarcerated and for seven years thereafter. Such judgment shall be subject to revival in the same manner as provided for dormant judgments under Code Section 9-12-60.
(g) No fees, costs, or other charges authorized by law in civil cases shall be charged by a clerk of superior court for entering a judgment arising out of a criminal case on the general execution docket or for any action brought by the state to enforce such judgment.
(h) The provisions of this Code section shall be supplemental to any other provision of law applicable to the collection of fines or restitution in criminal cases.
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