Court fines - sheriff and justice of the peace courts

​Fines in the sheriff and justice of the peace courts

  • Court fines are a priority debt. This is because the court has strong powers to recovery what you owe. This can include the following.
  • Deductions from some benefits.
  • Deductions from your earnings.
  • Freezing money in your bank account.
  • Taking a vehicle that you own.
  • For fines of £500 or more you could, in rare circumstances, be sent to prison if you do not pay.

Golden rules for dealing with court fines

  • If you have a court hearing or have arrears from failing to pay fines, contact us for advice.
  • Always go to court hearings.
  • Take your budget sheet with you.
  • Try to make arrangements that you can afford to pay or contact the court if you cannot pay.
  • Keep paying what you can afford.

Direct measures

In some cases, you might also get a fine without your case going to court. These are called 'direct measures' and have been introduced as an alternative to prosecution.

Dealing with your priority debts for more advice and information on dealing with priority debts.