What happens if someone doesn’t pay the fine for a criminal offense?

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Criminal fines in Japan come in two types: Fines and Petty Fines. A petty fine is between 1000 yen and 10,000 yen. Anything above 10,000 yen is a normal fine, although normal fines can be reduced to below 10,000 yen due to mitigating circumstances.

If a person defaults on the payment of a criminal fine in Japan, such as from a traffic ticket, that person may be sentenced to detention in a workhouse in lieu of paying the remaining balance of the fine. The length of the detention in the workhouse is determined by the remaining balance of the fine and could be between one day and two years. In other words, the larger the unpaid balance on the fine, the longer the time served at a workhouse.

If you have any questions about criminal law in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.