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Fines, Fees, and Court Debts

How do I get my fines taken directly out of my paycheck or bank account?

You would need to arrange this with your employer or bank.

I want to pay a fine, but I do not know what it is for.

You may find information about your case by searching Iowa Courts Online on the Iowa Judicial Branch website at: https://www.iowacourts.state.ia.us/ESAWebApp//SelectFrame. On the right side of the page, under “Trial Court,” click on “Case Search.”

Or, you may contact the clerk of court office in the county where your case is filed.

When do I have to pay my fine from a criminal case?

Fines in criminal cases are due at sentencing unless the court grants additional time to pay or a payment plan.

How can I get an extension to pay my fine?

In most counties, the county attorney is responsible for collecting delinquent fine amounts. In other counties, the Iowa Department of Revenue will collect delinquent fines. For assistance, contact the county attorney’s office. Otherwise, contact the clerk of court office.

Where does the money go when I pay my fine?

Fine payments go to the State of Iowa’s general fund or to the general funds of the cities or counties of the jurisdiction. See Iowa Code section 602.8107(2)-(4).

When is my fine due?

For traffic tickets, the fine is due on or before the court date shown on the ticket. For criminal cases, if you are found guilty your fine is due at sentencing, unless the court grants additional time to pay or grants you a payment plan.

I just got a second notice that I did not pay my fine or appear in court. How can I get a second notice when I didn’t get a first notice?

The court considers the traffic citation or court order as the first notice and the reminder you received as the second notice.

I have received several notices regarding my unpaid fines. Each indicates a different date to pay. When is my fine really due?

Fines and fees, if any, are due at sentencing unless a court order grants additional time to pay or a payment plan. If there is a good reason, the court may issue an order granting more time to pay. Before you are assessed a late payment fee or other penalty, you will be sent a notice. Some notices are required by law and some notices are a courtesy. Each notice may establish a new deadline date to pay the fine. If you pay the fine before the new deadline, you will not receive any additional penalties.

What will happen if I don’t pay my fine or make my payment by the due date?

The Iowa legislature has established penalties and several collection methods to get parties to pay amounts due. These methods include, but are not limited to:

  • Suspending the person’s driver’s license.
  • Adding a collection fee.
  • Deducting the unpaid fine and costs from income tax refunds, casino or lottery winnings, or any bond posted in that county.
  • Garnishing wages.
  • Preventing registration renewals for vehicles.
How soon will my fine be sent to a collections agency or office?

Generally, unpaid fines are sent to collection when the fine is past due for 30 days. You will receive notices explaining when this will happen.

How can I pay my fine?

You can pay your fine in one of these ways:

  • On the Iowa Judicial Branch website at: https://www.iowacourts.gov/for-the-public/pay-a-fine/.
  • By calling: 515-348-4788.
  • By mail to the clerk of court office where your case was filed.
  • By going into any clerk of court office. Some courthouses have a drop box for payments.

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