When you think of a fine, you probably think of something like a speeding ticket – however, for those who have committed a serious crime, they may have fears about their fines and how much they will pay. Fines are created as a way to punish the offender as well as help compensate the state for the offense and keep the defendant from committing these acts in the future. The judge who handles your sentencing will come up with an appropriate criminal fine and may increase it as a way to stand in for prison or probation time. They are typically composed based on the type of crime, severity, circumstances surrounding the crime, defendant’s criminal history, testimony, and more.
Judges will usually impose fines instead of prison or probation time for those who have either committed a minor crime or first-time offenders. It is still seen as a deterrent, but also like a second chance to learn your lesson after the fine is accounted for. Even if you pay the fine as a criminal defendant, it will still become part of your criminal history. You may even hear about fines as part of your plea bargain process, as sometimes your attorney may feel it is in your best interest to pay the fine instead of spend time in prison. This happens during negotiations and the judge will decide what works best for your case.
How Restitution Works
Many people bring up restitution when they are talking about fines, which is a way for the defendant to pay money as punishment for a crime. Fines are paid to the government when you commit a crime, while restitution is paid to the victims of a crime. For instance, if you steal from somebody, you will have to pay theft fines as well as restitution to make up for what you stole and possible suffering by the family. Restitution fees are typically found alongside your criminal fines.
If you have committed a crime, you may wonder how fines work and what you should expect for your case. Because fines are expensive at times and can put a damper on your life, you may have questions – and we have answers. Call us today at The Law Office of Peter Blair for a defense attorney you can trust.