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1 A sum of money that an offender is ordered to pay on conviction. Most summary offences are punishable by a fine with a fixed maximum, in accordance with a standard scale of five levels. These are currently (2006) as follows: level 1 – £200; level 2 – £500; level 3 – £1,000; level 4 – £2,500; level 5 – £5,000. Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, before fixing a fine, a court must enquire into the financial circumstances of the offender and the amount of the fine fixed by the court should, in addition, reflect the seriousness of the offence. Sometimes provision is made for imprisonment in cases of failure to pay the fine. A fine may also be imposed instead of, or in addition to, any other punishment for someone convicted on indictment (except in cases of murder). This fine is at large, i.e. the amount is at the discretion of the judge.

2 A lump-sum payment by a tenant to a landlord for the grant or renewal of a lease. See also premium.

Subjects: Law.

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