Convicted criminals in England and Wales will have to pay up to £1,200 towards the cost of their court case under new rules, it has been revealed.
Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said the Criminal Courts Charge would ensure criminals “pay their way”.
The fees, which come into force on 13 April, are not means-tested and will start at £150.
The fee will be paid on top of fines, compensation orders and defendants’ own legal charges.
It will not be linked to the sentence given, but will be set according to its type of case, with the minimum charge for magistrates’ courts and the maximum level for crown court cases.
An individual convicted in the Crown Court would face a charge of £1200.
The Magistrates’ Association warned the new charge could place a burden on people with little income.
It also warned that innocent people could be encouraged to plead guilty to avoid the risk of higher payments, as those who admit their offences will pay less than those convicted after a trial.