A fine is imposed for offences of a relatively minor nature, and where there is no prior criminal record, or at most a very minor one. The maximum fine you can expect for summary conviction offences under the Criminal Code is $5000. Typically, the fines range from $150 for very minor violations to $2000 for the most severe ones that still fit within a fine range. A 15% Victim Fine Surcharge is applied to fines imposed by the judge unless you can convince the judge it would be an excessive financial hardship. You can expect that the judge will give a reasonable amount of time to pay the fine, anywhere from 1 month to 1 year.
Should you fail to pay a fine, however, you are subject to arrest and will have to serve a jail sentence proportional to the amount of the fine still outstanding at the time of arrest. You will be told how much time that is at the time of sentencing. You will also be told that you can work off the fine through the “Fine Options Program”.
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