174. Fines at common law and under statute.

At common law a fine, either with or without imprisonment, is a penalty at the discretion of the court1. By statute, the Crown Court has power to pass an unlimited fine except in murder cases or where a minimum sentence applies2, and a magistrates' court3 has power under statute to punish offences by the imposition of fines4 (which in certain cases may be unlimited5) as an alternative, or in addition, to imprisonment6. Where a magistrates' court tries a person under 18 years for an indictable offence7 and finds him guilty, it may in general impose a fine or may