2 October 2017
The Fines Calculator tool provides for the calculation of fines across Fine Bands A to F, calculation of the relevant weekly income for a defendant, court costs and the appropriate victim surcharge.
Using the fines calculator in different orientations
The fines calculator has input from the tapping of buttons, moving of a slider and data-entry of income, costs, compensation, etc. Using the App in landscape or portrait orientation is largely a personal preference and/or determined if a tablet stand is being used.
Using fines calculator in landscape orientation may require that the keyboard must be closed in order to view all parts of the fines calculator tool. The keyboard then automatically redisplays when tapped into a data-entry field. Any field containing a light green background can be typed into.
Using fines calculator in portrait orientation leaves sufficient space for the fines calculator tool to appear above the keyboard without needing to hide it to see and use all of the tool.
Relevant Weekly Income
RWI is the weekly income against which a fine will be calculated. Where the defendant is in receipt of benefits use the RWI £120 button. If the defendant is being dealt with in absence and has not declared an income, use the RWI £440 button. These two amounts do occasionally change and can be amended in Settings > Sent Guides. For a stated Annual or Monthly income tap the appropriate button for that income calculation.
Fine Band and Early Guilty Plea discount
The Fine Band is selected from the button collection showing Fine Bands A, B, C, D, E, and F. As each of these are selected the sliding scale at the bottom of the Fine calculator changes to reflect the different minimum and maximum percentage bands for each specific fine band.
The Fine Band range allows a fine to be reduced or increased depending upon the mitigating or aggravating factors within a case.
A discounted from the fine is provided where a Guilty Plea has been entered. The amount of discount is calculated upon when the guilty plea had been entered. * The full 1⁄3 discount for where the Guilty Plea has been entered at the earliest possible opportunity (i.e. immediately after charge). * A reduced 1⁄4 discount where the plea is entered sometime after charge. * A 10% discount where a Guilty Plea is entered immediately before trial also called “on the steps of the court”. * It is at the discretion of the Magistrates what discount they choose to offer. It may be any value between 1⁄3 and no discount. The Fine after Plea will automatically calculate the reduction from Fine before Plea.
An Attachment of Earnings order allows the court to require that the employer of the defendant automatically deduct a set amount from income so that the Court may recover the fine by installments. Fine calculator displays the amount of an attachment of earnings order.
The Court may choose to make an order for all, part or no costs. Either tap one of the costs buttons or tap into the Costs field and enter the costs agreed by the Bench. These form part of the fine imposed and are included within any collection order made by the presiding justice. The four costs buttons can be changed via Pref > Sent Guides. £135 is the typical costs for a summary only offence and £185 for an either-way offence. Any figure may be entered into the Costs field whereby where a contribution towards costs may be made.
The victim surcharge is an amount that goes towards helping victims and witness of crime in the legal system. This is an amount added to the fine based upon the type of offence, the age of the defendant and the sentence or fine disposal made by the Court. Tapping each of the buttons will display a summary of the button’s victim surcharge type and amount at the very bottom of the fine calculator screen.
A fine for an offender aged over 18 years of age, in the Magistrates’ or Crown Court will be calculated at 10% of the fine amount between a minimum of £30 and a maximum of £170 for offences committed after the 8th April 2016.
For an offence committed before this date, the slider must be switched to the left.
All of the Fine Bands are described between a minimum percentage and maximum. For example, Fine Band A is a fine at between 25% and 75% of the defendant’s relevant weekly income. This gives the sentencing Bench of Magistrates or Justice the flexibility of increasing or decreasing a fine percentage to reflect the totality of offending with mitigating or aggravating factors taken into account.
By default the fines calculator will default to the mid-point of a fine band. For example 50% for fine band A, 100% for fine band B, 150% for fine band C, etc.
Calculation demonstration for No insurance
This fines calculator exercise is for an offence of no insurance and use of a mobile telephone. The mobile telephone offence will be dealt with by means of no separate penalty but with an increase in the fine percentage to take into account this aggravating factor.
This exercise uses the following assumptions:
- Defendant income of £1,700 Monthly
- No insurance using a Band C fine
- Prosecution asks for £135 costs for a properly brought prosecution
- This is an offence committed by a defendant over 18 years of age with victim surcharge at 10%
- Increase in percentage fine to 160% of relevant weekly income in respect of the mobile telephone offence