An offender levy is money certain offenders aged over 18 must pay if they're sentenced by a court or fined by police. For court sentences, only one levy can be given in a particular court case. The judge will apply the levy to the most serious sentence.
When an offender levy is given
An offender levy applies to sentences and penalties listed below:
- immediate custody – £50.00 for sentences of more than two years and £25.00 for sentences of two years or less
- court fines – £15.00
- penalty notices (road traffic and low level offences)- £5.00
As well as road traffic fixed penalty notices, police can give penalty notices for different offences, including disorderly behaviour and criminal damage. They can do this without direction from the Public Prosecution Service.
How the levy is collected
A court collects and enforces a levy in the same way as an existing fine. If you 're sentenced to custody or detention, the Northern Ireland Prison Service will collect the levy from you, in instalments, from your prisoner earnings.
How money collected from the levy is used
The money from offender levies goes to a dedicated Victims of Crime Fund to provide services for victims and witnesses of crime.