Statement of Means Form
- What is a Statement of Means?
- What will the Court do with my details?
- Why, if I am earning more, should I pay a higher fine?
- I don't wish to disclose my income. What will happen if I send the form back uncompleted?
- Should I seek advice before completing a Statement of Means?
- I have misplaced my Statement of Means Form, where can I obtain a duplicate?
When a case is referred to Court, the amount of the fine is based not only on the nature of the offence and mitigation presented, but also on the Defendant's ability to pay. The Court will establish the latter by way of the Statement of Means which is a questionnaire designed to clarify the Defendant's income and outgoings.
The Court will use this information to set the fine and also to enforce it, if a fine is not paid. For example, the Court can use the information about employment to secure an Attachment of Earnings Order.
The fine system is, to some degree, based on ability to pay. The belief is that by taking into account the Defendant's circumstances, the correct penalty can be set for each individual. A £300 fine may be appropriate with somebody with limited disposable income but not for somebody who is easily able to afford same and thus would not be "punished".
Each Defendant is required to complete the questionnaire. Those that refuse to do so, face the maximum possible fine for the alleged offence. Additionally, refusal to complete the questionnaire can result in a separate offence being committed which in turn will lead to a further fine.
It is always sensible to seek advice on any Court document and a review of the Statement of Means would normally be incorporated as part of any legal assistance.
The Court will provide you with a further copy, alternatively you can download a duplicate from the following link: