The Magistrates (Sheriff in Scotland) court deals with some criminal cases such as traffic offences, fines for unpaid TV Licences, public order offences and antisocial behaviour.
The most common sentences given out by magistrates (sheriffs) are financial penalties or fines.
Magistrate (sheriff) court fines are not to be confused with liability orders for Council Tax or child maintenance arrears, as the rules are different.
If you’ve been convicted of a crime, a court fine is often used as punishment. The amount of the fine depends on how serious the offence committed was.
Court fines are collected by weekly or monthly instalments and might be deducted from your earnings or benefits. As well as the fine, the court might ask you to pay compensation and court costs.
The court will take into account your financial situation when considering an appropriate sentence. It will be measured against reasonable living costs.