Legal Question in Criminal Law in Florida

I have an old 2008 3rd degree felony case in Volusia county Florida. At the time, my court costs and fines were converted to a civil lein at the advice of my public defender. When I asked him to explain all of that, he said I would not pay it unless I got some kind of settlement, won the lottery, or came into some other cash windfall. Fast forward to 2021, and all of a sudden I get a letter from Volusia county stating that they've been trying to contact me and collect this debt and my license is going to be suspended in 2 weeks. That was the very first communication I ever received on this. I avoided that by setting up a payment plan, but I disputed this and wrote a letter to the judge stating that my public defender specifically advised me that this would not happen and could not happen, and that being given only two weeks before my license is suspended when I just heard about it is unreasonable. The judge denied my letter. But shouldn't my points count for something? I was given bad advice by my attorney. Something along the lines of ineffective assistance of council? And I don't hear a peep for 12 or 13 years, and NOW they collect? When I'm on unemployment & food stamps. I'm really looking for another avenue to dispute this debt because I cannot afford it right now. I thought my legal issues in Volusia county were closed a long time ago.

Asked on 4/06/21, 12:01 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Richard Hornsby Richard E. Hornsby, P.A.

Unfortunately, at the time of your plea, that was the general understanding of how civil liens were treated. But now that the Legislature requires all fines and court costs to be paid, the Clerk's office is now collecting on all outstanding liens.

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Answered on 4/16/21, 7:17 am

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