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A fine or mulct is a penalty of money that a
court of law A court is any person or institution, often as a government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''Sta ...
or other
authority In the fields of sociology Sociology is the study of society, human social behaviour, patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture that surrounds everyday life. It is a social science that uses various methods of Empiric ...

authority
decides has to be paid as punishment for a
crime In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper ...

crime
or other offense. The amount of a fine can be determined case by case, but it is often announced in advance. The most usual use of the term is for
financial Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricatu ...

financial
punishments for the commission of crimes, especially minor crimes, or as the settlement of a claim. A synonym, typically used in
civil law Civil law may refer to: * Civil law (common law) Civil law is a major branch of the law.Glanville Williams. ''Learning the Law''. Eleventh Edition. Stevens. 1982. p. 2. In common law legal systems such as England and Wales and the law of the United ...
actions, is mulct. One common example of a fine is money paid for violations of
traffic Traffic on roads A road is a thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places that has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by foot or by some form of conveyance (including a motor vehicle Electric bicycles parked i ...

traffic
laws. Currently in
English common law English law is the common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Black' ...
, relatively small fines are used either in place of or alongside community service orders for low-level criminal offences. Larger fines are also given independently or alongside shorter
prison A prison, also known as a jail or gaol (dated, English language in England, standard English, Australian English, Australian, and Huron Historic Gaol, historically in Canada), penitentiary (American English and Canadian English), detention ...

prison
sentences when the
judge A judge is a person who wiktionary:preside, presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a Judicial panel, panel of judges. A judge hears all the witnesses and any other Evidence (law), evidence presented by the barristers or s ...

judge
or magistrate considers a considerable amount of retribution is necessary, but there is unlikely to be significant danger to the public. For instance,
fraud In , fraud is to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right. Fraud can violate (e.g., a fraud victim may sue the fraud perpetrator to avoid the fraud or recover monetary compensation) or (e.g., a fraud perpetrat ...

fraud
is often punished by very large fines since fraudsters are typically banned from the position or
profession A Profession is a disciplined group of individuals who adhere to ethical standards and who hold themselves out as, and are accepted by the public as possessing special knowledge and skills in a widely recognised body of learning derived from re ...

profession
, they abused to commit their crimes. Fines can also be used as a form of
tax A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or legal entity In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act accord ...
. Money for
bail Bail is a set of pre-trial In law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its ...
may be applied toward a fine. A
day-fine A day-fine, day fine, unit fine or structured fine is a unit of fine Fine may refer to: Characters * Sylvia Fine (''The Nanny''), Fran's mother on ''The Nanny'' * Fine/Officer Fine, character in Tales from the Crypt, played by Vincent Spano Vin ...
is a fine that, above a minimum, is based on personal income. Some fines are small, such as for
loitering Loitering is the act of remaining in a particular public place for a protracted time, without any apparent purpose. While the laws regarding loitering have been challenged and changed over time, loitering is still illegal in various jurisdiction ...

loitering
, for which fines range from about $25 to $100. In some areas of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It consists of 50 , a , five major , 326 , and some . At , it is the world's . The United States shares significan ...

United States
(for example
California California is a in the . With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the and the U.S. state by area. It is also the in North America and the in the world. The area and the are the nation's second and ...

California
,
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the Northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
,
Texas Texas (, ; : ''Texas'', ''Tejas'') is a state in the region of the . At 268,596 square miles (695,662 km2), and with more than 29.1 million residents in 2020, it is the second-largest by both (after ) and (after ). Texas shares borders ...

Texas
, and
Washington D.C. ) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial The Lincoln Memorial is a US national memorial built to honor the 16th President of ...

Washington D.C.
), fines for petty crimes, such as
criminal mischief Mischief or malicious mischief is the name for a criminal offenses that is defined differently in different legal jurisdictions. While the wrongful acts will often involve what is popularly described as vandalism Vandalism is the action inv ...
(shouting in public places, projecting an object at a police car) range from $2,500 to $5,000.


Fines by country


England and Wales

In the
Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 The Magistrates' Courts Act 1980 (c. 43) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the Parliamentary sovereignty in the United Kingdom, supreme Legislature, legislative body of the United Kin ...
, unless the context otherwise requires, the expression "fine", except for the purposes of any enactment imposing a limit on the amount of any fine, includes any pecuniary penalty or pecuniary forfeiture or pecuniary compensation payable under a conviction. In section 32 of that Act, the expression "fine" includes a pecuniary penalty but does not include a pecuniary forfeiture or pecuniary compensation. In sections 15 to 32 and 48 of the
Criminal Law Act 1977 The Criminal Law Act 1977 (c.45) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom The Parliament of the United Kingdom is the supreme legislative body A legislature is a deliberative assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polit ...
, the expression "fine" includes any pecuniary penalty. In England, there is now a system whereby the court gives the offender a 'fine card' which is somewhat like a
credit card #REDIRECT Credit card A credit card is a payment card issued to users (cardholders) to enable the cardholder to pay a merchant for goods and services based on the cardholder's promise to the card issuer to pay them for the amounts plus the ...

credit card
; at any shop that has a paying-in machine he pays the value of the fine to the shop, which then uses the fine card to pass that money on to the court's
bank account A bank account is a financial account maintained by a bank or other financial institution in which the financial transactions between the bank and a customer are recorded. Each financial institution sets the terms and conditions for each type of ...
. A related concept is the
fixed penalty notice Fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were introduced in United Kingdom, Britain in the 1950s to deal with minor parking offences. Originally used by police and traffic wardens, their use has extended to other public officials and authorities, as has the r ...
, a pecuniary penalty for some minor crimes that can be either accepted (instead of prosecution, thus saving time and paperwork, or taken to court for normal proceedings for that crime. While technically not a fine, which, under the
Bill of Rights 1689 The Bill of Rights 1689, also known as the Bill of Rights 1688, is a landmark Act in the constitutional law The principles from the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen still have constitutional importance Constitutiona ...
, may be levied only following a conviction, it serves the same purpose of punishment. Early examples of fines include the
weregild Weregild (also spelled wergild, wergeld (in archaic/historical usage of English), weregeld, etc.), also known as man price (blood money Blood money may refer to: * Blood money (restitution), money paid to the family of a murder victim Films ...
or
blood money Blood money may refer to: * Blood money (restitution), money paid to the family of a murder victim Films * Blood Money (1917 film), ''Blood Money'' (1917 film), a film starring Harry Carey * Blood Money (1921 film), ''Blood Money'' (1921 film) ...
payable under
Anglo-Saxon The Anglo-Saxons were a who inhabited . They traced their origins to the 5th century settlement of incomers to Britain, who migrated to the island from the coastlands of . However, the of the Anglo-Saxons occurred within Britain, and the ide ...
common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial tribunals by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ''Black's Law Dictionary'' is the most-us ...
for causing a death. The murderer would be expected to pay a sum of money or goods dependent on the social status of the victim. See also
English criminal law English criminal law concerns Offence (law), offences, their prevention and the consequences, in England and Wales. Criminal conduct is considered to be a wrong against the whole of a community, rather than just the private individuals affected. ...
.


The Netherlands


Criminal law


General information

The Dutch Criminal Code ''(Dutch: Wetboek van Strafrecht (WvSr))'' doesn't contain specific amounts for fines for every violation of the law. Instead of that the Criminal Code provides six fine categories. Every penalty clause of the Criminal Code contains a fine category. The categories are: These sums are only an upper limit, it's up to the judge or the prosecutor to determine the exact sum of the fine. However, the amount of the fine must be at least €3. The sums of categories are always 1, 10, 20, 50, 200 and 2000 times the amount of the first category. In addition to the fine, the convict also has to pay an administration fee of €9. The amounts are established by the government, via a royal order. When the judge convicts an individual to a fine, the judge must also set a term of substitute imprisonment. This substitute imprisonment will be executed in the case that the fine remains unpaid. The judge may count one day imprisonment for every unpaid €25, however normally judges reckon one day for every €50 which stays unpaid. Though, the substitute imprisonment must be at least one day (even though the fine was €3) and cannot exceed one year (even though the fine was €100,000).


Execution of a court imposed fine

Once a person is irrevocable convicted to a fine, it's up to the public prosecutor to collect the fine. To do so, the cjib ''(centraal justiteel incassobureau (English: central judicial collection agency))'' is established. First, the CJIB will send the convict the fine. If the convict pays the fine the case is closed (by paying, the convict loses the right to go into appeal as well), if he doesn't, the case will be continued. The CJIB will then send the convict a reminder, though this reminder will contain an increment of €15. If this doesn't lead to the payment of the fine, the CJIB will send another reminder, now with a raise of 20%, however, the raise must be at least €30. When the fine continues to be unpaid, the CJIB will instruct a bailiff to collect the fine nonetheless. This bailiff may, for example, seize the convict's income and sell his possessions. If these measures do not result in the full collection of the fine, the bailiff will return the case to the prosecutor. The prosecutor will order the police to arrest the convict, in order to execute the earlier written substitute imprisonment. The length of the imprisonment will be percentage-wise reduced if the convict has paid a sum, but not the entire amount of the fine. After the substitute imprisonment the convict will be a free man again. He also won't have to pay the fine anymore and the case will be closed.


Frequently committed traffic violations


=General information

= Before 1 September 1990, all traffic violations were punished via the criminal law. The suspects were first offered a sort of plea bargain. This mostly contains a fine. If the suspect didn't pay the fine of this plea bargain, the public prosecutor had to open a criminal case, otherwise he wasn't authorized to collect the fine through force. The case had to be withdrawn when the capacity of the courts or the prosecutor's office didn't allow the start of a criminal case for a traffic violation. This was the case very often. This situation led to a negative spiral, because traffic offenders hoped and expected their case to be withdrawn, and didn't pay the plea bargain fine. This led to a growing pressure on the capacity of the courts, which causes more sepots (decisions not to prosecute). This encouraged more offenders not to pay, etc. In order to stop this spiral, the secretary general of the justice department (at that time), Dr. Albert Mulder, designed a new system of law enforcement. Under this new system, the government acquired the right of summary foreclosure. The summary foreclosure means that the CJIB can execute the fine directly, unless the fined subject goes to appeal. The system regarding frequently committed traffic violations is regulated by Administrative Enforcement of traffic Rules Act ''(Dutch: Wet administratiefrechtelijke handhaving verkeersvoorschriften (WAHV))''. According to the WAHV the maximum sum of the administrative fine is the same as the maximum amount of the first category (Art. 2 section 3 WvSr Criminal Code). The exact fine per violation is determined by an annex of the WAHV. In addition to the fine, the fined subject will also have to pay €9 administration costs as well. The amount of the administration costs will also be determined by the minister.


Process of the administrative fine

Once a subject has been fined by an officer or photographed by a speed camera, he will receive a decision within four months. This decision will contain a short description of the violation, the place and time the violation was committed and sum of the fine. The subject will have two choices now. He can pay the fine or he can go into appeal. In contrast to the court imposed fine, when the subject has paid the fine, he will keep the right to go into appeal. The subject can go into appeal within six weeks. In the first instance, the subject appeals to the public prosecutor. The prosecutor shall withdraw the fine completely when he thinks the appellant has right. He will lower the sum of the fine if he thinks that the suspect is partially right. If the prosecutor thinks that the suspect isn't right, he will uphold the fine. As long as the prosecutor has not made a decision on the appeal, the suspect does not have to pay the fine yet. Once the prosecutor has made a decision, the suspect will again have two choices. He can pay or he goes into appeal at the sub-district judge of his arrondissement (or the arrondissement of the place where the disputed violation was committed). But now, the suspect has to pay the fine as a surety.Art. 11 section 3 Wahv
/ref> If the suspect doesn't pay the surety, the judge will declare him inadmissible (thus the fine will be upheld). The judge will have the same choices as the prosecutor. He can withdraw the fine, lower the fine, or uphold the fine. If the (remaining) fine is higher than €70 and the suspect or/nor the prosecutor doesn't agree with the sub-district judge's verdict, the suspect or the prosecutor can go into appeal for the last time. He does that at the court of appeal of Arnhem-Leeuwarden in Leeuwarden. This appeal will be in writing, unless the appellant, per se, wants to do it orally. If the fine is lower than €70, or the appellant's appeal is rejected in Leeuwarden, there will be no legal remedies anymore and the case will be closed. The appellant's surety will be transformed to a fine.Art. 21 section 2 Wahv
/ref>


See also

*
AmercementAn amercement is a financial penalty in English law, common during the Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages or medieval period lasted from the 5th to the late 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empir ...
*
Asset forfeiture In financial accounting Financial accounting is the field of accounting Accounting or Accountancy is the measurement, processing, and communication of financial and non financial information about economic entity, economic entities such as ...
— in which the results of a crime and items used in a crime are seized *
Civil penalty A civil penalty or civil fine is a financial penalty imposed by a government agency as restitution for wrongdoing. The wrongdoing is typically defined by a Codification (law), codification of legislation, regulations, and decrees. The civil fine ...
*
Damages At common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or ) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi-judicial by virtue of being stated in written opinions. ' is the most-used legal dictionary used ...
*
Day-fine A day-fine, day fine, unit fine or structured fine is a unit of fine Fine may refer to: Characters * Sylvia Fine (''The Nanny''), Fran's mother on ''The Nanny'' * Fine/Officer Fine, character in Tales from the Crypt, played by Vincent Spano Vin ...
*
Library fine A late fee, also known as an ''overdue fine'', ''late fine'', or ''past due fee'', is a charge fined against a client by a company or organization for not paying a bill or returning a rented or borrowed item by its due date. Its use is most commonly ...
* Nuisance fee *
Penalty units A penalty unit (PU) is a standard amount of money used to compute penalties for many breaches of law in Australia at both the federal, and state and territory level. Fine (penalty), Fines are calculated by multiplying the value of a penalty unit ...
*
Standard scaleThe standard scale is a system in Commonwealth law whereby financial criminal penalties ( fines) in legislation Legislation is law which has been promulgation, promulgated (or "enactment of a bill, enacted") by a legislature or other Government, go ...


References

{{DEFAULTSORT:Fine (Penalty) Payments Punishments