What happens if my friend cannot pay back court fines? 2 Answers as of June 30, 2015

I have an old friend who was released form prison shortly after the fourth of July, 2014. He went on assault charges. He ended up being sentenced to a few day in jail and lot of community service. He told me a couple weeks ago that they had changed the laws and that he had to pay one thousand dollars or go to jail. He was suppose to pay it by the end December 2014. Unfortunately due to his conviction he has had a hard time finding work and his family is not able to help him out. What I need to know is A) Can they change the laws like that so that a person who is already sentenced to one thing has to do something else, B) If they can is there anyway we can do to make a payment arrangement so that my friend does not have to go back to jail which in addition to having to pay the one thousand dollars he would have to pay and additional amount of 64.95 per night spent in jail, C) Is what lawmakers are doing be considered extortion?

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Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
Some idiot friend told you that they changed the law, and you want to know from a real attorney on-line IF they (I assume that means the legislature) can just change the law. Do you understand what happens at the state capital. Do you know how someone becomes a law maker? Get real.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 6/30/2015
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
I doubt that your friend is telling you the whole story. His "fine" may have been in lieu of additional jail time. You say he only did a "few days" on an assault charge. The maximum penalty on an assault charge non felony) is one year in jail. Because of the mi9nimal jail time, I suspect that may be the reason fo9r some of the fine. Additionally, there are mandatory penalties that have to be assessed by the court. They cannot be waived. Based upon the amount ($1,000.00), I suspect that a good portion of the fine probably cannot be waived. If this is the case and he can't pay, it is possible that the court may convert the fine to jail time. No the law has not just changed and no, its not extortion.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/29/2015
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