Community Service as an Alternative to Fine Payments
Having defended thousands of different types of criminal cases in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade County, at the Law Offices of Leifert & Leifert, we are thoroughly familiar with the forms of penalties that our clients face. Relatedly, we are also aware of the fact that, with expert representation, our clients need not have their lives turned completely upside down due to past mistakes or misunderstandings.
For example, many defendants are sentenced to pay fines as part of their penalty; these fines can range from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. Having to pay large sums of money is difficult for many individuals, especially those who have difficulty obtaining work due to the stigma of having been convicted of a crime. Our criminal defense attorneys know that there are solutions to this type of problem—our legal know-how and inside knowledge of local judicial practices have given us the ability to successfully advocate on behalf of our clients in these types of circumstances.
How An Attorney Can Help
With our firm representing your case, you can be hopeful that we can navigate the situation such that you don’t have to be penalized even more than you already have been. Our firm knows that many local judges allow for community service to serve as an alternative to fine payments if the defendant is unable to make such payments. The court’s comparison of outstanding fine payments to prospective community service is not arbitrary—the court assigns a reasonable value to the work to be completed by the probationer (the defendant now on probation) and then determines what type of and how much community service work needs to be completed to equal the value of the outstanding fine payments. Our firm, when appropriate, makes sure to articulate to the court that the work being completed is of the highest value, so that it takes fewer community service hours to balance out the remaining outstanding fine payments.
Community Service Requirements
Our defense attorneys know that the community service work to be performed must be performed at locations approved by the court and that the hours worked must be verified in a manner determined by the court. Simply doing what you believe to be “community service” work does not necessarily count toward what the court believes is “community service” work. While it must be approved and verified by the court, the community service work that you may find yourself doing can range from manual labor to clerical work in an office building. What type of community service job you will be performing is up to the court system.
The fact that the court can allow community service as an alternative to fine payments and that there is flexibility with regard to what type of community service work is to be performed is a testament to the fact that judges have a great deal of discretion—the way to ensure that they will issue rulings and sentences that are most in your favor is to retain an attorney who knows the court system and those who play an important role in the system. Our lawyers at Leifert & Leifert are all former prosecutors, and so we are both familiar with the local law and those who enforce the local law.