The Victim Fine Surcharge became mandatory in Canada on October 24, 2013. It was established to help fund victim services such as counseling. Judges no longer have the option to waive the charge for impoverished offenders. The surcharge is $100 for summary offences and $200 for indictable offences or 30% of any fine imposed by a judge. Judges do have discretion on the length of time imposed to pay the fine.
Victim Fine Surcharges are one piece of the larger sentencing picture. Sentencing is an extremely important matter. If you have concerns about an upcoming sentencing hearing or would like to learn more about the sentencing process, contact our office today.
Update: Shortly after publishing this blog, a decision by Ontario Court Justice David Paciocco struck down the mandatory Victim Fine Surcharge. Justice Paciocco found that the surcharge amounted to cruel and unusual punishment for impoverished offenders. For more information on this evolving area of law, click HERE.
Ron Ellis is a Criminal Defence Lawyer working in London, Ontario and practicing criminal defence law all over Southwestern Ontario, including Grand Bend, Sarnia, Woodstock and Kitchener.