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Many defendants in Illinois are given a fine at the time of sentencing. The sentencing court is required by law to consider your ability to pay the fine before it is imposed. Often times, however, your ability to pay will change after the sentencing hearing. Pursuant to 730 ILCS 5/5-9-2, you may ask the court to revoke any unpaid portion of your fines, or to modify your payment schedule.
If you have unpaid fines, you may take advantage of section 5-9-2 at any time. To do so, you should file a motion in the circuit court, entitled Motion to Revoke Fines Pursuant to 730 ILCS 5/5-9-2. The motion should explain why you believe your fines should be revoked, or why you need a new pay schedule. Factors that may convince a court to revoke your fine may include:
- a reduction of income or new financial burdens
- change in family circumstances including marital status or children
- personal or family illness
- any other new hardship that reduces your ability to pay
If the court denies your motion, you have the right to appeal. If you are indigent, the court should appoint the Office of the State Appellate Defender to represent you on appeal.