Does The Penalty Fit The Crime?

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by Markintime, Oct 4, 2008.

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  1. Reading another thread I noticed that someone had commented that parking fines had recently gone up from £60 to £120 which brings a question to my mind.

    Why is it that a criminal court, when issuing a fine, takes into account a person's ability to pay but a parking fine does not?

    Before everyone starts saying 'if you can afford a car you can afford the fine'. What about the pensioner who is disabled and has leased his car on motability because without it he would be housebound. Can he afford £120. Also, before you start saying as a blue badge holder he can park anywhere, that is not true either.

    Does the defendant have the right to go to court and say, yes, I am guilty but I just can't afford £120 and does the court have the right to suspend all or part of that fine or indeed, give him the chance to pay it in instalments?
  2. It may sound harsh, but if the sign says don't park....don't park. Whether your 18 or a 118. It's 'no parking' for a reason, whether we agree with sign or not and just because some old codger was at Dunkirk, doesn't give him the right to park wherever he fancies. We all do it, and we accept that there are consquences if we are caught.

    As for being unable to pay? No problem. Bailiffs. Property to the value seized. Fine paid.

    (has anyone else noticed the adverts which appear on this site when threads like this are started?)
  3. My point is that parking tickets are not linked to ability to pay whereas every other type of fine is. My other point is why can't you have the option to pay in installments if you genuinely can't afford the full fine?
    The reason I'm asking is because I went to the local Clerk of Courts to pay a parking fine and the place was full of guys paying off fines in installments. The guy in front of me pulled out a wad which must have had a couple of grand in it, pealed off a twenty to pay his £1 installment to his fine. I could afford to pay my fine in full but what of those who honestly can't?
  4. Easy way of sorting this out.

    Fines should not be fixed value but percentages of your daily (or anything up to annual if neccesary) wage/income.

    Finland has this system, the most expensive speeding ticket in the world was issued there, coming to some 1200 pounds. To a software designer who was flooring it in his Porsche.

    It would add bite where needed, and not kill off pensioners or other vulnerable people who don´t have much cash.

    Alternatively a ban of the offending car (for motor offences) or community service.
  5. Excellent post choccie, would be a great way of doing things.
  6. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Utterly Choccie, Frog.
    Let's penalise the people who dare to have money more than the poorer ones for the same offence.
    Very democratic.

    Sadly, it seems that the poor commit the most crime. Oh dear. Society's fault, of course.

    Your next social-engineering solution, dear?
  7. Quite right B-S I can't afford to pay my fine, where's yer 'ouse mate, I'll need to knock it over to get some dunza to pay the fine, you're rich, you can afford it.

    What you're saying is it's OK for multi-millionaires to park wherever they like because £120 to them is no more than a quid or two to us. After all they are rich and therefore untouchable and we all know it's the poor who commit all the crime. Flog em and then deport them.
  8. What about all the dodgy folk in the UK who seem to be on benefits but always seem to have money to run a car?

    Not to mention the criminals with no legal wage/income?
  9. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    No, I'm just saying that the penalty should fit the crime. Nothing more than that.

    The fact that someone can afford to pay for an offence more easily than someone else is, IMO, irrelevant. The Law declares a penalty .. pure and simple.

    Let's take another case for debate. OJ Simpson will lose much, much, more from his prison sentence than some feral chav for whom, like "Norman Stanley Fletcher ... " regards imprisonment as a hazard of his profession. Should OJ therefore get a lesser prison sentence because he's wealthy? These things work both ways.
  10. We aren't talking about Kidnap and Armed Robbery we're talking about parking! BTW I'm sure that the judge will take into account what OJ is losing and maybe give him a month or two less but I also think that the judge will also have in mind that this guy got away with murder.
  11. blue-sophist

    blue-sophist LE Good Egg (charities)

    Fixed Penalty = Fixed Penalty.

    Your notional Disabled Pensioner knows that ... as does everyone else. That's why I don't exceed the speed limit or park illegally. I don't give a sh1t whether the fine is £120 or £45,000 - I don't break the Law.

    FFS, the Courts are bogged down enough already. :roll:

    Bloody LibDems - they get everywhere these days :wink:
  12. I don't think it's going to matter very much. The minimum sentence in the USA for kidnap is 15 years.
  13. .
    Of course it does.

    Everyone knows that being promoted to the House of Lords & given a(nother) post in Government is a suitable punishment for the twice-disgraced P Mandelson Esq.
  14. Like I said mate....baillifs and 'goods to the value of'. Sorry, that's just how it gets sometimes.