Can I be given a fine when I am not present in court?
Yes. Sometimes the court can fine you in your absence. If you were not in court when you were convicted, you might be able to have the fine and conviction set aside and reheard.
What if I don’t agree with the fine?
You may be able to appeal the court's decision. There are strict time limits that apply. You should get legal advice as soon as possible after you receive your fine.
How long do I get to pay the fine?
28 days. If you need more time, go to the court registry before the 28 days runs out, to ask for a time to pay order.
A time to pay order can allow you to:
- pay the fine by a later date, or
- pay the fine by regular instalments.
If you are paying by instalments, you can do this in person or have regular amounts taken out of a bank account. You can also use Centrepay to have money deducted from your Centrelink benefits.
You can change or cancel the order by agreement with the court registry.
You may need to show that a time to pay order is necessary. This might involve providing documents, such as pay slips, bank statements, or Centrelink summaries to support your application.
What if I miss a payment?
If you breach the order by failing to pay as required, your time to pay order can be cancelled immediately. This can happen even if you thought you had paid the instalment. It might happen because there isn't enough money in your bank account or your Centrelink benefits are cut-off or suspended.
If you previously had a Licence Suspension Order against you because of those fines and your time to pay order is cancelled, the Registry can make a new Licence Suspension Order against you.
What happens if I don’t pay?
Your fine will be registered with the Fines Enforcement Registry. If you don’t pay the fine, the registrar may:
- make a Licence Suspension Order to stop you from driving
- issue an Enforcement Warrant to sell your property or clamp your car
- issue a Work and Development Order to do unpaid community work instead of paying the fine
- in some circumstances, issue a Warrant of Commitment to spend time in prison instead of paying the fine
- publish your details on a website.
Your fine includes court costs but does not include any other amounts the court may have ordered you to pay, such as restitution or compensation to a victim. Those amounts must be paid separately. If you don't pay those amounts, the victim can ask the court to enforce the order against you.
Can I cut out my fines while I am in prison?
If you are on remand or a sentenced prisoner, you can apply to cut out unpaid fines at the same time. Ask the Transitional Manager at the prison or contact the Fines Enforcement Registry for more information.
You cannot use time in prison to cut out unpaid infringements.
Reviewed: 9 April 2018