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A fine is money paid usually to superior authority, usually governmental authority, as a 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]

The fine bill for violation of traffic law in Czech Republic
A warning sign in Singapore that states the fine for releasing vehicles that are immobilized with wheel clamps by Singapore Police Force officers.

The most usual use of the term, fine, relates to a financial punishment 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 where 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 fine.

A day-fine is a fine that, above a minimum, is based on personal income.

Some fines are small, such as loitering which can run about $25–$100. In some areas of the United States (for example California, New York, Texas, and Washington D.C.), there are petty crimes, such as criminal mischief (shouting in public places, projecting an object at a police car) that run between $2500–$5000.

Fines by country[edit]

England and Wales[edit]

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, now there is 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 account.

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 victim.

See also English criminal law#General power to impose a fine on indictment.


  • Most crimes are punished by imprisonment or fine. The amount of the fine and the length of the imprisonment depend on the crime committed and can be found in the Wetboek van Strafrecht.
  • According to article 23, part 2, the lowest possible fine is € 3.[5]
  • Part 3: The highest possible fine depends on the category number according to the crime committed. A more severe crime is punished by a fine of a higher category.
  • Part 4 determines the maximum height of the fine per category:
    • First category: € 390.
    • Second category: € 3,900.
    • Third category: € 7,800.
    • Fourth category: € 19,500.
    • Fifth category: € 78,000.
    • Sixth (highest) category: € 780,000.
  • Most traffic violations are punished by a fine, given by a police officer instead of a judge. The fine can be paid by bank transaction, after which the case is closed. Not paying the fine on time will cause a trial.[6] The law has the title Wet administratiefrechtelijke handhaving verkeersvoorschriften, also known as Wet Mulder, named after Albert Mulder, a former secretary of the Dutch Justice Ministry.
  • A person without Dutch nationality may have to pay the fine in cash to the police officer. Confiscation of the driver's license for speeding (driving faster than 50 km/h above the speed limit)[7] will be replaced by a very high fine if the committer of the violation does not have Dutch nationality.

See also[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine_(penalty) — Please support Wikipedia.
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44 news items

Athens Messenger
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 07:26:15 -0700

One proposal discussed was adding an administrative fine penalty for nuisance parties. The city currently has an ordinance that allows police to shut down social gatherings or parties if violations such as underage drinking, public urination, unlawful ...


Sat, 30 Aug 2014 11:33:45 -0700

The Steelmen deservedly took the lead after 12 minutes when their outside-half Iain Smerdon struck a fine penalty from 40 metres. Keys suffered a serious blow to their chances after a quarter of an hour when their experienced loosehead prop Richard ...
South Wales Argus
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 11:42:39 -0700

The Steelmen deservedly took the lead after 12 minutes when their outside-half Iain Smerdon struck a fine penalty from 40 metres. Keys suffered a big blow when experienced loosehead prop Richard Cornock was forced off by a calf injury and he is ...

Nantwich News

Nantwich News
Sat, 30 Aug 2014 14:11:15 -0700

Up stepped Pepper and the midfielder hit a fine penalty to send Simpson the wrong way. On 60 minutes, Winslade was looking to go though on goal and John Cyrus brought the fast forward down. The referee booked Cyrus and resulting free kick was cleared ...

Hartlepool Mail

Hartlepool Mail
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 00:30:00 -0700

Goals from Charlie Wyke and Marlon Harewood and a fine penalty save from Scott Flinders helped United to a 2-1 win away at the Dons last weekend. Next up for 19th-placed Pools is another long trip tomorrow. Cooper said his side will face a “tough test ...
The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com
Tue, 12 Aug 2014 20:16:29 -0700

It doesn't seem to state a fine, penalty or consequence for not following the guidelines. It's also unclear if any of the nearly 25 other states have a penalty in their youth return-to-play law. The NCAA has return-to-play and return-to-learn ...
Marketing Interactive
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 21:07:30 -0700

Last night, despite the online backlash and possible fine penalty by LTA, managing director of SMRT Trains Lee Ling Wee took to social media to set the record straight. Lee wrote on SMRT's Facebook page that the train operator will still encourage ...
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:11:33 -0700

The NFL is trying to do something about the backlash it has received for its perceived light suspension of Ray Rice. It just may need to try a little harder. The Washington Post reports the league is considering harsher punishments for players who ...

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