State v. Zubiena, ___ N.C. App. ___, 796 S.E.2d 40 (Dec. 30, 2016)

The trial court did not err by ordering the defendant to pay a $1000 fine as part of her sentence upon a conviction for assault by strangulation. North Carolina statutes provide that a person who has been convicted of a crime may be ordered to pay a fine as provided by law and that unless otherwise provided the amount of the fine is in the discretion of the court. The court noted that there is no statutory provision specifically addressing the fine amount that may be imposed for the offense at issue. Accordingly, the amount is left to the trial court’s discretion. Here, the court found itself unable to identify any basis for determining that the fine was an abuse of discretion or otherwise unlawful. The court specifically rejected the defendant’s argument that the fine violated the prohibition on excessive fines under the Eighth Amendment.

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