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The biggest misconception people have regarding fines is that the person would owe all that money all at once, so a lot of people are very scared when I meet them and they ask how much the fines and fees would come to. Contrary what a lot of people believe, the courts would not make the person pay the whole fine all at once; they would negotiate a monthly payment for an amount that the person could afford. Someone with a misdemeanor case would be able to negotiate with the court and work out a small monthly payment fee. Another misconception is that a domestic violence case would have a large fine whereas that would not necessarily be the case.
A lot of times, people do more jail time in relation to an offense if they did not know they had other options available to them. For example in a prostitution case, it’s common to be able to negotiate some sort of diversion program rather than doing jail time. Likewise in a domestic violence case, if the victim was not willing to proceed on the case, then a lot of times the case could be settled by entering that person into a diversion program. People often do not know there is an option, so they end up opting for jail time when that would not always have been necessary. Private attorneys know these sorts of things and can speak to the prosecutor about it.
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