§5E1.2. Fines for Individual Defendants
(a) The court shall impose a fine in all cases, except where the defendant establishes that he is unable to pay and is not likely to become able to pay any fine.
(b) The applicable fine guideline range is that specified in subsection (c) below. If, however, the guideline for the offense in Chapter Two provides a specific rule for imposing a fine, that rule takes precedence over subsection (c) of this section.
(c) (1) The minimum of the fine guideline range is the amount shown in column A of the table below.
(2) Except as specified in (4) below, the maximum of the fine guideline range is the amount shown in column B of the table below.
(3) Fine TableOffense A B Level Minimum Maximum 3 and below $100 $5,000 4-5 $250 $5,000 6-7 $500 $5,000 8-9 $1,000 $10,000 10-11 $2,000 $20,000 12-13 $3,000 $30,000 14-15 $4,000 $40,000 16-17 $5,000 $50,000 18-19 $6,000 $60,000 20-22 $7,500 $75,000 23-25 $10,000 $100,000 26-28 $12,500 $125,000 29-31 $15,000 $150,000 32-34 $17,500 $175,000 35-37 $20,000 $200,000 38 and above $25,000 $250,000.
(4) Subsection (c)(2), limiting the maximum fine, does not apply if the defendant is convicted under a statute authorizing (A) a maximum fine greater than $250,000, or (B) a fine for each day of violation. In such cases, the court may impose a fine up to the maximum authorized by the statute.
(d) In determining the amount of the fine, the court shall consider:
(1) the need for the combined sentence to reflect the seriousness of the offense (including the harm or loss to the victim and the gain to the defendant), to promote respect for the law, to provide just punishment and to afford adequate deterrence;
(2) any evidence presented as to the defendant’s ability to pay the fine (including the ability to pay over a period of time) in light of his earning capacity and financial resources;
(3) the burden that the fine places on the defendant and his dependents relative to alternative punishments;
(4) any restitution or reparation that the defendant has made or is obligated to make;
(5) any collateral consequences of conviction, including civil obligations arising from the defendant’s conduct;
(6) whether the defendant previously has been fined for a similar offense;
(7) the expected costs to the government of any term of probation, or term of imprisonment and term of supervised release imposed; and
(8) any other pertinent equitable considerations.
The amount of the fine should always be sufficient to ensure that the fine, taken together with other sanctions imposed, is punitive.
(e) If the defendant establishes that (1) he is not able and, even with the use of a reasonable installment schedule, is not likely to become able to pay all or part of the fine required by the preceding provisions, or (2) imposition of a fine would unduly burden the defendant’s dependents, the court may impose a lesser fine or waive the fine. In these circumstances, the court shall consider alternative sanctions in lieu of all or a portion of the fine, and must still impose a total combined sanction that is punitive. Although any additional sanction not proscribed by the guidelines is permissible, community service is the generally preferable alternative in such instances.
(f) If the defendant establishes that payment of the fine in a lump sum would have an unduly severe impact on him or his dependents, the court should establish an installment schedule for payment of the fine. The length of the installment schedule generally should not exceed twelve months, and shall not exceed the maximum term of probation authorized for the offense. The defendant should be required to pay a substantial installment at the time of sentencing. If the court authorizes a defendant sentenced to probation or supervised release to pay a fine on an installment schedule, the court shall require as a condition of probation or supervised release that the defendant pay the fine according to the schedule. The court also may impose a condition prohibiting the defendant from incurring new credit charges or opening additional lines of credit unless he is in compliance with the payment schedule.
(g) If the defendant knowingly fails to pay a delinquent fine, the court shall resentence him in accordance with 18 U.S.C. § 3614.
Historical Note: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective January 15, 1988 (see Appendix C, amendment 54); November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendments 280, 281, and 302); November 1, 1990 (see Appendix C, amendment 356); November 1, 1991 (see Appendix C, amendment 384); November 1, 1997 (see Appendix C, amendment 572); November 1, 2002 (see Appendix C, amendment 646); January 25, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 648); November 1, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 656).