Financial Penalty – A Court may choose to order that the offender pay a fine.
Financial Penalty – The Legislation:
If a person is found guilty of an offence the court may, subject to any specific provision relating to the offence, fine the offender in addition to or instead of any other sentence to which the offender may be liable.
(1) The maximum fine that a court may impose under section 49 is—
(a) the appropriate maximum specified in the specific provision; or
(b) if no maximum is specified there, then that specified in subsection (2).
(2) If a person is found guilty of an offence and the court has power to fine the offender but the amount of the fine is not prescribed anywhere, then the maximum fine that may be imposed is that set out in section 109(2) or (3) (as the case requires) according to the level of the offence or of the term of imprisonment that may be imposed in respect of the offence.
The amount of the fine will depend on:
Some offences, e.g. possession of a small quantity of cannabis, are fine only offences in that the Court cannot sentence the offender to anything harsher than a fine.
Some offences have a statutory maximum, in that the Court only has the power to order a fine up to a certain amount. The statutory maximum is set out per penalty unit. The amount of a penalty unit changes over time.
Currently in Victoria one penalty unit is equal to $165.22 (as of 1 July 2020)
If an offender is sentenced to a fine the offender may also choose to convert the fine to unpaid community work.
This sentencing disposition can be made with or without a conviction (see Conviction v Non Conviction).