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How to Complete Probation-Five Stumbling Blocks to Successfully Completing Your Probation

The second stumbling block in our on-going series:

2. Lack of money

Probation always comes with lots of fees that are not always anticipated. First, there are court costs that will have to be paid. Court costs are levied by the court in order to keep their lights on and pay their staff. This will be due over the period of probation. Your local probation office will also likely charge you some kind of monthly fee for their supervision of you. Many probation offices have a sliding scale for these fees which is based on your income. There are also possible fees for drug testing, alcohol testing, classes, or rehabilitation services. Many charges, such as DUI or drug trafficking, include a mandatory fee which must be paid. The best thing to do is discuss in detail with your attorney and/or probation officer all the fees that will be due over the course of probation, and do a budget for them. A probation officer will often work with you if you cannot afford something but at least show the effort to try to comply with the financial aspect of probation. A judge may also put you on a payment plan for some of the fines and fees depending on your jurisdiction. A probation officer may attempt to violate your probation because of failure to pay, but the State must show that it was not only substantial but also willful—in other words, if you simply cannot pay it, the State cannot prove it.

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