Often times, the court orders my clients to pay restitution to the victims of their crimes. If they don't pay, they have to stand in front of the judge and try to give some semblance of a decent reason. If they can't provide a reasonable explanation, they get the opportunity for the state to provide them with new clothes, new jewelry, a chef, laundry workers, personal security, and a chauffeur...all in a gated community.
So, a young lady had not been making payments. I returned her to the court for her "excuse session". This was what came out of her mouth, "Uh, Mr. Judge, I ain't paid all my restitution 'cause I been on two probations for like four years and I got fees and stuff to pay in both cases and I got like nine kids and it's hard on me."
Okay, let's review that. Our state is not run by evil monsters, so no matter how many "probations" she might have been serving at once, she would only be ordered to pay one fee. I'm a smoker (no, I don't want to hear your crap about it, either), so I know how much cigarettes cost. MANY of my clients smoke...name brands, like Marlboro, Newport, and Kool. The cost of smoking one pack a day for a month, is approximately $120.00 more than the monthly supervision fee my clients are supposed to pay. Next, she committed a crime AND got caught, so the natural progression of things means she has to pay fees, fines, court costs, and repay the victim. Crime ain't cheap. Finally, "I got like nine kids"...did y'all catch that? How do you have "like nine kids"? You either have nine or you don't. Maybe you have eight or ten, but unless I missed some major lessons in Biology, you can't have near any number of kids. I'm currently not a parent, but I don't run around telling people I "got like one kid" or any other number, for that matter.