Fine vs Penalty: Difference and Comparison

Fine and Penalty are two terms related to the consequences of breaking the law.

Fine refers to the sum of money which is paid to the court, while a penalty is a form of punishment given when law or rules are broken. One involves court while the other doesn’t.

Both are different in the sense that a fine is when a money order is given by the court to pay while other is levied when a person goes against rules they have to get a penalty.

Fine is an act given to a person after proper processing in court. The penalty is a punishment given when a person does or don’t do an act which they were restricted from.

Fine is mainly against a person who performs a crime or an offence, while on the other hand, Penalty is for those who breaks the law or rules.

Fine as a punishment is given by the court only while Penalty is not given by court but rather by the concerned authority,

Key Takeaways

  1. A fine is a monetary punishment an authority imposes for a violation or offense.
  2. A penalty is a broader term encompassing various forms of punishment, including fines, imprisonment, or loss of rights.
  3. Fines are specific to monetary consequences, whereas penalties can involve a range of punitive actions depending on the offense.

Fine vs Penalty

A fine requires the convicted person to pay a sum of money to the public treasure ordered by the court after the complete prosecution of a matter. A penalty is a punishment imposed on a person when they don’t comply with the provision of a specified act and does not involve court proceedings.

Fine vs Penalty
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Fine is said to be the sum of money that the court asks a person to pay because of their offensive and criminal behaviour. This can be said during a trial of a person’s crime. This word was derived from the Latin word finis from the 13th century.

The penalty is a punishment fixed by the law. It is imposed on a person when he or she breaks the laws or rules. It is not imposed on the person by the court but rather is imposed by the concerned authority under which department the law falls.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonFinePenalty
Word meaning Fine means a sum of money given to the court due to a punishable offence committed by the person. Penalty is given by a person who breaks any kind of law or rule and to the respective authority.
Phonetic symbol fʌɪn ˈpɛn(ə)lti
Origin Latin word “finire” Medieval Latin word “poena”
Imposed by A fine is imposed on a person by the court. A penalty is imposed on a person by the concerned authorities.
Concerns to It concerns the person who commits a crime or offensive act. It concerns the person who breaks any kind of rules or laws.
Consequences It leads to paying a particular amount of money to the court. It can lead to any kind of punishment decided for breaking that particular law.

What is Fine?

There are different kinds of fines, but the one when we compare with the penalty, it mainly means the court fine. These kinds of fines are given as an order from the court during the process of a trial.

The guilty or the person who committed an offensive crime is to pay this amount to the court.

The amount which is to be paid by the convicted person is decided by the court, and it depends on the crime or offence committed by the person.

These kinds of fines can be from traffic incidents to any other criminal offence. These kinds of fines are mainly given during a proper trial in court.

These kinds of fines are issued by the court as an order which states the right to appeal and even the consequences which can happen to the person if the fine is not paid.

The person in a court trial can be charged a fine for getting bail which is a different kind of fine. All these fines come under the supervision of the judiciary system.

These kinds of fines are accepted by the court in different kinds of methods which also depends on the court and its procedures.

Court mainly accepts fine in the forms of cash or money orders or credit cards. Not paying a fine may also lead to arrest and time inside jail.

What is Penalty?

Penalty mainly means the form of punishment that is imposed on a person when he or she breaks the law. This can be imposed on the person in the form of anything.

For example, it can be in the form which is decided by the law. It is mainly imposed by the concerned authority.

For example, when in a department of work a person breaks any kind of rules or law, the department as a penalty punishes the person. The punishment is decided by the higher authority of the department.

This penalty can be anything. For example, it can be suspending order or severe punishment in worst cases.

These kinds of rules and the penalty of going against these laws are predecided and are not imposed on the person in the court but rather by the concerned authority themselves.

A penalty is imposed on a person mainly due to a violation of standard conduct. Penalties are the basic punishments.

A penalty can also have different types. This can be in the form of punishment which can even be criminal punishment if the violation is anything related to a criminal act.

But the great difference comes in the way it is imposed on the guilty, which is by the concerned authority.

penalty

Main Differences Between Fine and Penalty

  1. Fine is imposed by the judiciary system that is by the court, while Penalty is imposed by the concerned authorities.
  2. A fine is a sum of money to be paid to the court as a punishment, while a Penalty is retribution imposed on someone.
  3. Fine is imposed on a person when a criminal or offensive activity is performed, but a Penalty is imposed on a person who breaks any kind of rules or laws.
  4. Fine is particularly imposed on the person in a court trial, while Penalty doesn’t have particularly such criteria.
  5. Fine is particularly all about money, while Penalty is not always about money.
Difference Between Fine and Penalty
References
  1. https://lamintang.org/journal/index.php/ijlapp/article/view/85
  2. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/jautta13&section=14
  3. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/468061

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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