304.1Sentencing Issues

Fines, Costs, and Restitution
Last Updated: 12/01/23

Key Concepts

  • Any sentence may include a fine, and the amount is left in the judge's discretion, subject to statutory maximums for ordinances and Class 2 or Class 3 misdemeanors.
  • Costs apply automatically in every case upon conviction, unless waived by the court.
  • Restitution must be considered in every case, and it must be ordered for any victim covered by the Crime Victims’ Rights Act. Restitution applies to losses such as medical bills and damage to property, but does not apply to losses for pain and suffering or for punitive damages.

For a concise and printable PDF summary of all the various monetary obligations that can arise in a criminal case, see the "bench card" available here. For more information about this resource, see "Criminal Monetary Obligations Bench Card Available," Jamie Markham, N.C. Criminal Law Blog, July 31, 2018.

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The PDF displayed in this entry is an excerpt from the 2018 North Carolina Sentencing Handbook, by James M. Markham and Shea Riggsbee Denning.