The offender may commit more offences in order to get the money to pay for the fine.
Fines may not have much of an impact if the offender doesn’t pay for it themselves.
Fines may not deter wealthy people so perhaps an alternative punishment would be more effective.
If a person does not have the wealth to pay a fine, they may be penalised.
Unpaid fines means courts are owed a lot of money – 20% of fines remain unpaid.
In Northern Ireland over 1,700 people per year enter custody because they have defaulted on fines.
Magistrates Association – believes more than 30,000 serious assaults are being dealt with through fines, however the true figure is nearer 40,000 including more than 700 assaults that could have gone to court as GBH.
Non custodial sentences are often used with fines to help reduce reoffending in a more constructive way than prison.
For example –
Probation Orders (they must meet certain conditions or they risk more punishment, and these may been given with a suspended sentence or as a condition of early release. Like fines this avoids stigma and disruption of someones life)
“ 'Non-custodial community sentences such as unpaid work, supervision, behaviour programmes, drug rehabilitation, alcohol treatment and curfews are often more effective in preventing reoffending than short prison sentences. ”, Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw (28 February 2008)