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 recover what you owe. This can include the following.
  • Deduction from some benefits.
  • Deductions from your earnings (if you are employed).
  • 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.
  • Try and 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.