Fines are the most common type of sentence given. That’s because they are given for lower level crimes that are common such as minor driving offences or theft. The amount is set by the court after considering the seriousness of the offence and how much money the offender can pay. Fines can be given to organisations or companies as well as people.

The maximum fine allowed in both magistrates’ courts and the Crown Court is unlimited (apart from offences sentenced in the magistrates’ court which were committed before 12 March 2015, where the maximum fine allowed is £5,000).

In 2017, 75 per cent of all offenders received a fine, a total of 896,611 offenders.

More information about the assessment of fines in the magistrates’ court can be found in the:

Magistrates’ Court Sentencing Guidelines

These statistics are taken from the Ministry of Justice’s criminal justice statistics publications.