pay (one's) dues to society

(redirected from pays 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 ?
The judgment further states that a convict suffers a loss by being immobilised, endures loss of his livelihood with the lasting stigma of conviction on his reputation; therefore, a convict who undergoes sentence 'pays his dues to society'.
That's over $15,500 a year to keep a person in prison versus $675 to try and get some help for that person who is not a danger to anyone while he pays his dues to society.