What is the difference between a fine and restitution in a criminal case?

Criminal charges in Wake County NC often involve things like:

  • Costs of Court
  • Fines
  • Community Service
  • Probation
  • Alcohol / Drug Treatment
  • Restitution

One of the most important things I do to help people accused of criminal offenses in Raleigh NC is to explain the courts and the legal system in North Carolina.  Part of legal representation for a criminal case is to go over what things cost if you’re convicted and ways to AVOID a criminal conviction, if that’s possible – John Fanney NC Criminal Law Specialist 

Sometimes paying someone or a company back for losses or damages goes a long way in resolving criminal charges in Wake County.  There often is a lot going with criminal allegations.  It doesn’t necessarily matter whether it’s felony vs. misdemeanor, restitution is one thing an experienced defense lawyer considers.

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Restitution involves money that you pay directly to a victim for damages caused by something that occurred in the criminal case itself.

For example, you may owe restitution to a Dollar General for something that was stolen and broken or not recovered.

Our defense lawyer law office is committed to helping people accused of criminal charges in Raleigh.  We want to make sure you understand all your legal options.

Read More: Can I Get Out of My Guilty Plea?


You may owe restitution to a victim for some injury that they sustained and they couldn’t get their insurance to cover it. That’s restitution.

Generally, restitution is paid through probation or something, if your lawyer has negotiated a resolution outside of court, you may pay the money to your lawyer who then distributes it to the alleged victims.

Criminal costs or fines involve what the court gives you after you’ve been convicted of a crime.

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Those fines and costs go to the state of North Carolina and then are distributed various ways. Some of the fines, for example in speeding ticket cases, go to the school board on behalf of the school.

Other fines go straight to the legislature or to our state treasurer and then are used to help fund our government.


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You may have a lot of questions about these things, so why don’t you give us a call? I’m John Fanney.

My phone number is 919-617-7009.

I’m happy to answer any questions you have about a criminal matter.


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Call NOW: Wake County Criminal Defense Lawyer – JOHN FANNEY