This Hawaii law specifies criteria that must be satisfied before a court can sentence a person to pay a fine. If the fine is the only punishment included in a sentence, the court cannot assess the fine unless “the person is or will be able to pay the fine,” and “the fine will not prevent the defendant from making restitution to the victim.” In other words, courts should not impose fines in addition to restitution if the defendant would not be able to afford to pay the fine after paying restitution.
The law also distinguishes between fines imposed in addition to probation or incarceration and fines that are imposed as the sole punishment for a crime. Fines can only be imposed in addition to incarceration or probation if the person gained money due to the crime or if “a fine is specially adapted to the deterrence of the fine involved.”
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