What is the victim fine surcharge?
The victim fine surcharge (VFS) is an extra fine that a judge can order you to pay as part of your .
You may have to pay the VFS even if you have to pay another fine or as part of your sentence. Restitution is money you pay for the damage you caused because of your crime. The damage could be to a person's property, for example, their car. Or it could be financial, for example, if you used someone's credit card without their permission.
It doesn't matter whether you were , got an , or a as your sentence. You may still have to pay the VFS.
If a judge orders you to pay the VFS, you're given a form called a Notice of Fine and Due Date at your sentencing . This form tells you:
- the amount of your VFS
- how you can pay it
- when you have to pay it by
- how you can ask for more time to pay
Where the money goes
The money from the VFS goes to Ontario Victim Services. This organization supports victims of crime with programs and services.
The rules about who pays the VFS have changed. The VFS rules that apply to you depend on the date on which:
- you committed your crime, and
- you were sentenced
The amount of the VFS depends on whether you have to pay other fines as part of your sentence. If you have to pay another fine, the VFS is 30% of that fine. A restitution order doesn't count as another fine.
If you don't have to pay another fine, the VFS is $100 for each , and $200 for each that you to, or are found guilty of committing. For example, if you plead guilty to 3 counts of theft under $5,000 and the Crown treated it as a summary , the VFS could be $300.
The court can also increase the VFS if it's fair and if you can pay a higher amount.
There is also a VFS applied to provincial offences. There are differences between the provincial and criminal VFS. This question only deals with the criminal VFS.