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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99651 Find in a Library
Title: Payment of Fines
Journal: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology  Volume:18  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1985)  Pages:95-108
Author(s): D Challinger
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 14
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This examination of patterns of fine payment in nine Victorian (Australia) magistrates' courts in 1980 draws implications for ensuring fine payment.
Abstract: The sample comprised 8,256 fines involving 5,577 persons. Data collected from the court registers included the offense; fine amount; default period; payment stays granted; offender's sex; legal representation; and dates of the offense, summons, court hearing, and final payment. Seventy percent of the sample paid their fines without any further court action. Eighty-three percent of those fined $250 or more paid their fines compared with over 90 percent for lesser fines. Those who committed property offenses composed the highest percentage of those who paid their fines (95 percent); those committing a driving license offense composed the worst payment group. Payment also varied by judicial officer. The average period for the completion of fine payments was 7 weeks. Just under 2 percent of the sample were imprisoned for defaulting in their fines. A significant number of defaulters could not be found. These findings indicate that the percentage of completed fine payments could be increased by requiring that the fine be paid upon sentencing except under special circumstances. Investigations should also be conducted to determine an offender's ability to pay a fine. Characteristics of persons at high risk of defaulting should also be determined and taken into account when determining whether or not to impose a fine. Tabular data and 26 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Australia; Fine defaults; Fines; Policy analysis
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