Can I get off probation if I still owe $16, 000 in restitution?

Q: I just saw my probation officer today and I expressed that I really want to get off of probation next year. It ends in five years. However, the amount I still owed is lower but not the full amount. The probation is in Westmoreland County. But I’m supervised in Allegheny. My PA said that the county might not let me off until the monies are paid in full and my probation will be extended if I do not meet the deadline. Is there any other option I can go with beside paying it all off in one-year. Will it help getting a lawyer, paying off half in one year or something? Should I rob a bank?

A: Normally, a probation case cannot close until all conditions are met, including restitution. However, I would review all the facts with local counsel and see if it is worth filing a Motion for Early Termination of probation. For example, if the victim to whom restitution is owed will accept a negotiated lowered lump sum payment and the DA agrees, maybe it can happen. I did this once or twice over the years. The chances are against you but it might be worth asking.

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