Juvenile Courts

questions & answers

Question: My stepson, 17 has been convicted in juvenile court of theft. He damaged property and the owners are filing for 6K restitution. His mom has full custody and she works. His dad is disabled and a am unemployed...we cannot afford restitution. We also cannot afford an attorney. Can the 17 year old be ordered to work off the restitution? What are our options when we can't pay?

Answer: It is important to note that just because the victims are filing for $6,000 does not mean they will be awarded a restitution of this amount. When the Court determines the total amount of restitution the defendant will owe, the judge is required not only to consider the victims personal losses but also the defendant’s ability to pay. Once a restitution amount is decided, the judge will ask you if you can pay the amount in full that day. If he answer is no, you will be asked to set a payment plan. A payment plan is usually set up to be a monthly payment to the County Clerk of Court of whatever amount the defendant has agreed to with the court. It is important to remember that no one can be imprisoned for being poor. If for some reason your stepson cannot make a payment on time it is important that he contact the court in writing before the date of payment. At this time the defendant can request for a change in the payment plan or a temporary relief from making payments. It is important to either make payments on time or stay in contact with the Court, if your stepson fails to do so, a warrant will be issued for his arrest. So while your stepson cannot compensate labor as payment for owed restitution, the Court gives reasonable options available to you.

https://www.azag.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/Restitution.pdf

QUESTIONS

  • My stepson, 17 has been convicted in juvenile court of theft. He damaged property and the owners are filing for 6K restitution. His mom has full custody and she works. His dad is disabled and a am unemployed...we cannot afford restitution. We also cannot afford an attorney. Can the 17 year old be ordered to work off the restitution? What are our options when we can't pay?

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