Definition - What does Civil Penalty mean?
A civil penalty is a punishment for violating a statute or failing to comply with another legal rule or regulation. The punishments for civil penalties are usually just fines or surcharges.
The more severe the violation committed by the citizen, the more severe the punishment can be for breaking the rule.
Justipedia explains Civil Penalty
There are a number of different transgressions that can lead to a civil penalty. For example, the late payment of taxes, not obtaining permits in some circumstances, and many other offenses can all lead to a civil penalty.
Generally, a person who receives a civil penalty has a certain amount of time to pay the amount required. If they fail to do so within the given time frame, then the punishment can be increased.