All criminal prosecutions are initiated in the District Court with the exception of certain offences dealt with by the Special Criminal Court (generally offences against the State).
A fine is the amount of money the judge decides has to be paid as punishment for an offence. The court sets out the amount to be paid and the number of days allowed for payment. The court office issues the fines notice after the court hearing.
Fine payment options
You can pay a fine in full or by instalment. Payment in full can be made at any court office, An Post office, or via www.courts.ie within the time allowed by the judge.
You can pay by instalment, in An Post offices only, if:
- the fine is more than €100.00
- the first payment is made within 42 days of the fine being imposed by the court
- the first payment is equal to or greater than 10% of the fine.
If you choose to pay by instalment you have one year and 42 days to pay the full fine. After the first instalment, each subsequent payment is due within 30 days of the previous payment (subject to a minimum of €5.00). You will receive a payment plan after you pay the first instalment.
The first instalment must be paid within six weeks of the court decision. If it is not paid, you must pay the full amount of the fine and cannot elect to pay by instalment.
Where to pay a fine
You can pay a fine by:
- selecting the Online Fines Payment option on this website
- calling to any An Post office
- phoning 1850 203 215 (or geographical alternative 065 9080208)
- posting your payment together with your fines notice in the pre-paid addressed envelope provided with your fines notice.
Payment by post should be made to the Courts Service. Do not send cash in the post. We will not accept post-dated cheques.
How to pay a fine
How you pay depends on how and where you choose to pay the fine. You can pay by cash (Euro), cheque (drawn on an Irish Bank), credit card (Visa/ Mastercard etc), debit card (Visa/ Mastercard/ Maestro), postal/money order or bank draft.
What happens if I don’t pay my fine?
If your fine remains unpaid or if you do not pay an instalment by the due date, you will receive a fines enforcement notice. It will tell you the date and time you must attend for another hearing. At that hearing you will be given an opportunity to pay the outstanding fine in full or the judge may opt for one of the following (in order):
- attachment of earnings
- recovery order – only for fines over €500 or corporate fines
- community service