[Bench Card] Monetary Obligations in North Carolina Criminal Cases

This bench card provides guidance to North Carolina judges regarding the imposition and collection of fines and fees in criminal cases. In particular, the bench card outlines the law as applicable to court costs, attorney fees, other fees, fines, and restitution, and highlights when each obligation applies as well as when and how courts can provide relief. The text also includes a chart that categorizes North Carolina fines and fees according to their amount, types of relief that are permissible for each, and civil judgement eligibility. 

You can find a copy of the bench card here.

  • Upon motion of the defendant and a finding of good cause, the court may exempt a person from paying the indicated fees.
  • In the event that a person who was assessed a fine does not pay and the nonpayment is not due to a lack of good faith, the court may grant additional time to pay, reduce the amount of the fine, costs, or installment payments, or revoke the fine, costs, or the unpaid portion. 




James M. Markham
School of Government, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill