Can I get more time to comply with Deferred Prosecution? Do I Need a Continuance? What are my Options?
You may have to explain the nature and the circumstances of your financial condition and why you need more time – Bill Powers
- Court Costs apply in Superior and District Court in North Carolina
- ONLY if Convicted or Pleading Guilty or No Contest
- NO COSTS may be assessed when a Case is Dismissed
- Court May Waive Costs if:
- Written Order
- Supported by Findings of Fact & Conclusions of Law
- Just Cause
Modified Transcript of “Can I get more time to comply with Deferred Prosecution?” for the Hearing Impaired
Hey, I’m Bill Powers. I’m an attorney in North Carolina. I’m answering a series of questions that we find online. These aren’t client questions. These are people that post them on public List-Serves.
We’re giving general information to general questions.
I see the same kind of question come across these boards, but there are always little differences between them. I try to answer as they develop, the oddities.
Here’s a good one. We see this a lot.
What do I do, if I can’t pay a fine by the court date? It looks like a misdemeanor charge for some marijuana, said the case could be expunged after doing some community service. I had to pay some money to the court, finish all the community service.
Don’t have a job, seems like maybe in school or something. There’s no way to pay the fine. What can I do? That’s a good question.
Many jurisdictions have procedures for trying to avoid convictions for the more minor type of offenses. Now I’m not saying a possession of marijuana isn’t serious.
It’s a misdemeanor. It’s something that can affect your permanent record. It can make it difficult to get a job or go to graduate school, depending on your background and the nature or the circumstances of the case.
There are times where the Court, and it seems like this is one of them where they’re trying to help people out, maybe do some community service, maybe get a drug or alcohol assessment, pay some court costs and fines and allow the matter to be expunged from the record. Now that’s a whole other legal issue about what an expunction is.
What happens, if you don’t have the money? Now it depends.
Some courts and some judges take the perspective, “I gave you time. I gave you an extended period of time, tough. I’m sorry. You’ve got to come up with the goods.”
Other jurisdictions and judges say, “I understand this. As long as you’re not picking up more charges, as long as you’re going to school or doing something to turn away from breaking the law, I’ll give you more time.”
There’s no hard and fast answer, I think, other than to say, be honest. If you have an attorney, call up your attorney.
Ask them what they can do.
Maybe they can ask for an extension. Maybe they can speak with the district attorney’s office or the court. You may have to go to court.
You may have to explain the nature and the circumstances of your financial condition and asking for different dates.
The more times you ask, I think, generally speaking, you find courts being less willing to work with you. A lot depends on how long the case to be disposed in the first place. It’s a great question. My heart goes out to you because I understand. Frankly, I’ve commented publicly numerous times about how expensive our court costs in North Carolina. I don’t defend it. I’m just telling you what the law is. I don’t know how normal, hard-working people pay these crazy court costs. Sometimes they’re right around $200 bucks just even for a simple speeding ticket. That doesn’t make sense to me, but I’m explaining the law, not defending it here.
If you need more time, you may need to ask for it. Waiting till the last minute, that’s something else we see as lawyers pretty regular. Whether it’s me, my law firm or some other lawyer, on behalf of all lawyers and judges and prosecutors across the state, if you have something like this, taking action beforehand as opposed to waiting last minute is appreciated. I understand life happens, but good question. If you have more questions, feel free to give us a ring at Powers Landreth at 704-342-HELP. That’s 704-342-4357. Talk to you soon.
2412 Arty Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28208