Those in receipt of fiscal fines who refuse to make payment are not being punished, according to figures from the Scottish Conservatives.
The figures show that in 2018/19, 39% of those who refused to pay went unpunished, and this figure rose to 40% in 2019/20. Figures for 2020/21 remain “ongoing” due to the backlog, however 10% of those who have refused to make payment have not been prosecuted.
Fiscal fines are not criminal convictions and paying one does not constitute an admission of guilt. If you are prosecuted before a court for another offence within 2 years of accepting an offer however, the court can be told when passing sentence about the offer. 
Deputy First Minister John Swinney told Holyrood last month that refusal to pay fiscal fines “is treated as a request by the alleged offender to be prosecuted for the offence”. However, Russell Findlay MSP, Scottish Conservatives’ shadow minister for community justice, said: “More than one in three accused criminals who refuse to pay a find are facing no further action. This exposes the sham of John Swinney’s claim… that rejection of these fines is likely to result in prosecution.”
A Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service spokesman said: “Effective and appropriate prosecutorial action is not limited to court proceedings and an offer of an alternative to prosecution is an affective response to certain types of minor crimes. The procurator fiscal will decide what is the most appropriate action to take, whether criminal proceedings or an offer of an alternative to prosecution.”