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Fine (penalty)

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A fine or mulct is money that a court of

law or other authority decides has to be
paid as punishment for a crime or other
offence. The amount of a fine can be
determined case by case, but it is often
announced in advance.[1]

A warning sign in Singapore that states the fee for

releasing vehicles that are immobilized with wheel
clamps by private security in a non-public area.

The most usual use of the term is for

financial punishments for the
commission of crimes, especially minor
crimes, or as the settlement of a claim. A
synonym, typically used in civil law
actions, is mulct.
One common example of a fine is money
paid for violations of traffic laws.
Currently in English common law,
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 sentences
when the 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 is often punished by very
large fines since fraudsters are typically
banned from the position or profession
they abused to commit their crimes.
Fines can also be used as a form of tax.
Money for bail may be applied toward a

A day-fine is a fine that, above a

minimum, is based on personal income.

Some fines are small, such as for

loitering, for which fines range from
about $25 to $100. In some areas of the
United States (for example California,
New York, Texas, and Washington D.C.),
fines for petty crimes, such as criminal
mischief (shouting in public places,
projecting an object at a police car) range
from $2500 to $5000.

Fines by country
England and Wales

In the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980,

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.[2]

In section 32 of that Act, the expression

"fine" includes a pecuniary penalty but
does not include a pecuniary forfeiture or
pecuniary compensation.[3]

In sections 15 to 32 and 48 of the

Criminal Law Act 1977, the expression
"fine" includes any pecuniary penalty.[4]

In England, there is now a system

whereby the court gives the offender a
'fine card' which is somewhat like a 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

A related concept is the fixed penalty

notice, 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, may be levied only
following a conviction, it serves the same
purpose of punishment.

Early examples of fines include the

weregild or blood money payable under
Anglo-Saxon common law for causing a
death. The murderer would be expected
to pay a sum of money or goods
dependent on the social status of the

See also English criminal law#General

power to impose a fine on indictment.

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:

Maximum height of the fine Maximum height of the fine

Category Wetboek van Strafrecht (European Wetboek van Strafrecht BES (Caribbean
Netherlands)[5] Netherlands)

First €410 $280

Second €4.100 $2.800

Third €8.200 $5.600

Fourth €20.500 $14.000

Fifth €82.000 $56.000

Sixth €820.000 $560.000

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.[6] 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[7] of €9.[8]
The amounts are established by the
government, via a royal order.[6]

When the judge convicts an individual to

a fine, the judge must also set a term of
substitute imprisonment.[9] 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,[10]
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

Execution of a court imposed


Once a person is irrevocable convicted to

a fine, it's up to the public prosecutor to
collect the fine.[6] 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]
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

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,

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).[14] The exact fine per
violation is determined by an annex of
the WAHV.[15] In addition to the fine, the
fined subject will also have to pay €9[8]
administration costs as well.[16] The
amount of the administration costs will
also be determined by the minister.[17]

Process of the administrative


Once a subject has been fined by an

officer or photographed by a speed
camera, he will receive a decision within
four months.[18] This decision will
contain a short description of the
violation, the place and time the violation
was committed and sum of the fine.[19]
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.[20] In the first instance, the
subject appeals to the public
prosecutor.[21] 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.[22] If the
suspect doesn't pay the surety, the judge
will declare him inadmissible (thus the
fine will be upheld).[22] 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.[23] He
does that at the court of appeal of
Arnhem-Leeuwarden in Leeuwarden.[24]
This appeal will be in writing, unless the
appellant, per se, wants to do it orally.[25]
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.[26]

See also
Asset forfeiture — in which the results
of a crime and items used in a crime
are seized
Civil penalty
Library fine
Nuisance fee
Penalty units
Standard scale


Wikimedia Commons has media

related to Fine (penalty).

1. Bray, Samuel (2012). "Announcing

Remedies". Cornell Law Review. 97.
SSRN 1967184 .
2. The Magistrates' Courts Act 1980,
section 150(1)
3. The Magistrates' Courts Act 1980,
section 32(9)
4. The Criminal Law Act 1977, section
65(2) (as amended by paragraph
153 of Schedule 7 to the
Magistrates' Courts Act 1980). This
definition previously applied to
section 14 of the Criminal Law Act
1977 before it was repealed by the
Magistrates' Courts Act 1980.
5. Justitie, Ministerie van Veiligheid en.
"Besluit van 10 november 2015 tot
wijziging van de bedragen van de
categorieën, bedoeld in artikel 23,
vierde lid, van het Wetboek van
Strafrecht" .
6. "Wetboek van Strafrecht, Artikel
23" . (in Dutch).
Retrieved 2019-07-02.
7. " - Regeling - Besluit
tenuitvoerlegging geldboeten -
BWBR0006717" .
8. Justitie, Ministerie van Veiligheid en.
"Regeling van de Staatssecretaris
van Veiligheid en Justitie van 19
oktober 2015 tot wijziging van de
Regeling vaststelling
administratiekosten 2012" .
9. " - Regeling - Wetboek van
Strafrecht - BWBR0001854" .
10. " - Regeling - Wetboek van
Strafrecht - BWBR0001854" .
11. " - Regeling - Wetboek van
Strafrecht - BWBR0001854" .
12. " - Regeling - Wetboek van
Strafrecht - BWBR0001854" .
13. " - Regeling - Wetboek van
Strafrecht - BWBR0001854" .
14. Art. 2 section 3 WAHV
15. Art. 2 section 1 WAHV
16. " - Regeling - Besluit
administratiefrechtelijke handhaving
verkeersvoorschriften 1994 -
BWBR0006847" .
17. Justitie, Ministerie van Veiligheid en.
"Regeling van de Staatssecretaris
van Veiligheid en Justitie van 19
oktober 2015 tot wijziging van de
Regeling vaststelling
administratiekosten 2012" .
18. Art. 4 section 2 Wahv
19. Art. 4 section 1 Wahv
20. " - Regeling - Algemene wet
bestuursrecht - BWBR0005537" .
21. Art. 6 section 1 Wahv
22. Art. 11 section 3 Wahv
23. Art. 14 section 1 Wahv
24. Art. 14 section 1 Wahv
25. Art. 20a section 1 Wahv
26. Art. 21 section 2 Wahv

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