How to Pay a Virginia Court Fine & Court Cost
***NOTE: CONSULT AN ATTORNEY FIRST BEFORE PAYING ANY FINE***
A Virginia criminal or traffic case may trigger fines and/or Court costs. A fine can only be imposed by the Virginia Court upon a conviction, which can either be for the original alleged offense or for a lesser offense if the original allegation is reduced. Court costs will be imposed upon a conviction and may be imposed in some instances even if the case is dismissed.
Payment of fines and Court costs must be received by the Virginia Court within 30-days following your conviction date to prevent the suspension of your Virginia privilege to operate a motor vehicle for failure to pay. Payments made in accordance with “time to pay” or deferred payment agreements are due on the agreed upon date. If the Virginia Court has not received your payment within 40-days following your Court date, then your account will begin to accrue interest and will be sent to collection.
The Virginia General District Courts can process online payments
- On-line payments to any Virginia General District Court can be made by accessing the General District Courts Online Case Information System
- Once you access the Virginia General District Courts Online Case Information System, click the down arrow under the Court tab on the left to view a listing of courts. Click on the name of the court, which corresponds to the name of the court on the top of your summons.
- You can search for cases using your name, the case number, or the hearing date. Use the links under the tabs below the court drop-down menu to select the search method. When searching by name, enter your last name, first name and middle name (if any), and then click the “Search” button. For best results, enter the name as it appears on your court summons or warrant.
- Upon locating your case, a “Mark For Payment” link will be displayed in the “Action” column if the case is eligible to be paid online.
- Click on “Mark for Payment” and the case will display “Unmark for Payment” in the “Action” column. After all cases to be paid have been selected, click the “Process Payment” button at the bottom of the screen.
NOTE: A maximum of five cases may be paid on one receipt.
- Verify that only your cases have been marked for payment, and then click the “Continue Payment Process” button.
- The next screen will ask for your credit card and contact information. All fields, except e-mail address, are required. Once completed, click the “Submit Payment” button at the bottom of the screen.
- Print a copy of the screen as your receipt confirming your payment. If you provided an e-mail address, a receipt will be e-mailed to you as confirmation of payment.
Reprint a copy of your on-line payment receipt. You will be required to enter select information from the original payment. A copy of the receipt can also be received via e-mail if an e-mail address is provided.
For assistance regarding the processing of a refund, please contact the General District Court to which payment was made.
Other Payments Options for a Virginia Court case
- Virginia Courts accept personal checks, money orders and certified checks and credit cards in person at the respective clerk’s office. Make your check payable to the applicable court. EXAMPLE: “Chesterfield County General District Court.”
Credit Card Payments: Confirm with the court which credit cards are accepted. You may call the court and provide the clerk your credit card information.
***NOTE: Some Circuit Courts do not accept credit card payments***
- Confirm the amount you owe with the General District Court, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court or Circuit Court where your case was heard along with the Court’s mailing address if you are going to send payment by mail. Ask the clerk to provide you with your “reference case number.” Write the reference case number on your check, and send your payment to the Court that heard your case.
Payment Plan Policies for Fines and Court Costs in Virginia
Payment of fines and costs through deferred or installment payments in criminal and traffic cases are authorized by individual Virginia Court, and each individual Court adopts its own policy. Payment plan policies of the individual Courts are available through the following links: Circuit Court, General District Court, Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
If a policy is not available for a particular court, please contact the clerk of that individual Court.
By Mitch Wells 5/1/2016