Cities may provide alternatives to incarceration (or imprisonment) for fine-only offenses for the indigent (an accused person suffering from extreme poverty).
The Judge has the discretion to work with defendants to determine an appropriate penalty that they are able to fulfill.
Defendants who are found unable to pay Indigence, or a person's inability to pay, is different than a refusal to pay a fine or court costs. The court may find alternative ways for the indigent defendant to satisfy the judgment. Alternative methods of discharge include delayed payment, time payments, and community service. In some cases where the defendant cannot pay and cannot do community service, the only alternative is waiver of payment. Art. 45.0491, C.C.P.
It is of the utmost importance defendant in need of assistance contact the court. While procedures are in place to provide alternatives to incarceration for indigent defendants, none of the alternatives to incarceration can be considered if an individual fails to communicate and request a hearing.