Debts from a Criminal Conviction Can’t Be Written Off through Bankruptcy, But it Can Still Help

How it can help? By clearing the financial deck to let you focus on criminal defense costs and on your most important expenses and debts.
Criminal fines, fees and restitution can’t be discharged (written-off) in any kind of bankruptcy case. But if you’re confronting a serious criminal charge or have already been convicted, bankruptcy can still be a necessary and beneficial part of your game plan.

Discharge Your Other Debts

If you’ve been charged with a serious crime , you have to focus your energies on figuring out how to pay for a decent criminal attorney and other potentials costs of your defense. Given what’s at stake, you may need to consider selling assets or stopping payment to your creditors. For some people the fastest way to reduce their debt and quickly improve their cash flow is with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

Similarly, if your criminal case has already been settled , you probably have some absolutely mandatory ongoing financial obligations to the criminal justice system. Possible examples are restitution payments, probation/supervision fees, treatment costs, community service fees, and drug and electronic monitoring charges. A bankruptcy can clean up your debts so you can pay these criminal fees and avoid incarceration or re-incarceration.

Pay Crucial Non-Criminal Debts and Expenses

Often the criminal court makes you pay certain debts or expenses, beyond the above direct court and probation fees above. You may have to keep current on your child support payments, pay income taxes on time, or maintain vehicle payments and insurance. A bankruptcy can enable you to pay for these when you couldn’t otherwise .

Prevent or Address Related Civil Litigation

You may be concerned about threats of legal liability by an allegedly injured person based on the same behavior that resulted in your criminal charges. Your bankruptcy filing might persuade that person not to sue you, or may lead to a better settlement if you’ve already been sued.
Why? Because:

  • Laying out your financial life under oath on paper may show your adversary that pursuing you would not be financially worthwhile .
  • Civil debts are discharged in bankruptcy except under circumstances that can be difficult for your adversary to prove . This may persuade him or her not to waste lots of attorney fees on a potentially fruitless battle.
  • A bankruptcy filing can speed up the litigation timeline . In combination with the above, it may encourage a quicker settlement or court decision, saving you litigation costs.

These are all delicate issues which need to be thoroughly explored with a highly experienced bankruptcy attorney . If you are in the Rockwall, Heath, Greenville, Lavon, Wylie, Mesquite, Royse City, Sachse or Rowlett, Texas, contact the Law Office of Carrie Weir. The initial consultation is free. Please call 972-772-3083 or use this form .

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