pay (one's) dues to society

(redirected from paid his dues to society)

pay (one's) dues to society

To serve the sentence given to one upon conviction of a crime. In the eyes of the law, he has paid his dues to society, so he shouldn't be facing any further punishment for his past crimes. I spent nearly 15 years in prison—I paid my dues to society!
See also: due, pay, society, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

pay one’s dues (to society)

tv. to serve a prison or jail sentence. I served ten years in prison. I’ve paid my dues to society. The matter is settled.
See also: due, pay, society, to
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Having now paid his dues to society after being convicted of fraud for his part in passing off about 200 of his paintings as original works by Old Masters, he's been carving a career on the right side of the law.
He added that King had paid his dues to society and not re-offended since leaving prison.
Is it possible we can put the moralising to one side for a moment and allow a man who has paid his dues to society to get on with his life?
She claimed he had paid his dues to society and insisted he would sing in December's final.
It will probably please you to know that you stole from a 68-year-old pensioner who has paid his dues to society, including three years' Army service, not to mention doing more towards promoting music and musicians than simply attending gigs and concerts.