SEOUL, March 9 (Korea Bizwire) — An increasing number of people fined for driving under the influence or committing violence are asking to pay in installments or delay payment altogether.
The Ministry of Justice reported a 44.4 percent increase in the number of requests to pay fines by installment last year.
Requests to delay payment of fines jumped almost threefold from 569 cases in 2019 to 1,497 cases last year.
Those who are fined can request delays or payment in installments based on their financial means or health condition. Once approved by the prosecutor, they can pay the fine over a 12-month period or delay the due date.
Last year, all requests were approved except for one request for installment and two requests for delays.
A total of 33,197 people chose to engage in physical labor instead of paying fines last year, down by 6 percent (2,123 people) from the previous year.
Total fines levied, however, reached 4.2 trillion won (US$3.7 billion), up by 41.4 percent (1.2 trillion won) from the previous year.
Those choosing to work under incarceration at prison workshops in 350 correctional facilities across the country can have their fines exempted.
A single day of work at a prison workshop is equal to paying 100,000 won in fines. However, different sets of rules apply to those sentenced to fines between 100-500 million won, for instance, by working more than 300 days.
Kevin Lee (email@example.com)