Capacity to Pay Fine, Payment of Fine by Instalments and Failure to Pay Fine
Capacity of person to pay fine
5. (1) The purpose of this section is to ensure, in so far as is practicable, that, where a court imposes a fine on a person, the effect of the fine on that person or his or her dependants is not significantly abated or made more severe by reason of his or her financial circumstances.
(2) Where a person of full age is convicted of an offence, the court shall, in determining the amount of the fine (if any) to impose in respect of the offence, take into account the person’s financial circumstances.
(3) (a) For the purpose of this section, a court may, in making a determination under subsection (2), impose a fine on a person that is greater than, less than or equal to the fine that the court would be minded to impose on the person in respect of the offence concerned if it were not required to take into account the person’s financial circumstances.
(b) A court shall not, in any case, impose a fine that is—
(i) greater than the maximum fine (if any), or
(ii) less than the minimum fine (if any),
to which a person would be liable upon conviction of the offence concerned.
(a) a court has convicted a person of an offence in his or her absence, or
(b) a person who has been convicted of an offence fails or refuses to provide the court with information as to his or her financial circumstances, the court shall impose such fine as it considers appropriate in respect of the offence taking into account such information (if any) as is known to the court concerning those circumstances.
(5) For the purposes of subsection (2), the court may, by notice in writing served on a person who has been convicted of an offence, require the person to attend before the court and provide the court with such information as the court may require in relation to his or her financial circumstances.
(6) A person who knowingly or recklessly makes a statement (orally or in writing) in relation to his or her, or another person’s, financial circumstances that is false or misleading in any material respect to a court discharging its function under subsection (2) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a class B fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both.
(7) A person who fails or refuses to comply with a notice under subsection (5) served on him or her shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable, on summary conviction, to a class B fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or both.
(8) This section does not apply in relation to the imposition of a fine where the court has no discretion in the determination of the amount of the fine.