I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
Anastasia Qvist is an outstanding lawyer. My criminal law situation (family violence order) was difficult, complex and Ana's diligence saved me as I was going through the most difficult period of my life. Ana is down to earth, commonsense and she even kept our costs to a minimum. She is a skilled litigator and knows the ins and outs of the ACT Magistrates Court. She dealt skillfully with the DPP and is an excellent negotiator. You will get a fair representation and she genuinely cares about her clients. She has my complete recommendation. The lady goes to bat for her clients.
I would strongly recommend Anastasia to anyone who is seeking legal representation. As a first-time offender who was charged with a Level 2 Drink Driving offence, she walked me through every step of the matter and was very upfront and clear on all aspects of my case. She was always accessible when I needed advice. Her approach and advice were excellent. Under her representation, I received the best possible outcome and managed to avoid a criminal conviction. She was a pleasure to deal with throughout the whole matter.
Anastasia Qvist was very professional and helpful in every step of my matter. I got a very good outcome and I can’t thank you enough for your hard work and the Armstrong Legal team in Canberra. I would highly recommend her!!!
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
The court can order that you pay a fine as part, or all, of your penalty for a sentence. Fines can be combined with Good Behaviour Orders, and, in some circumstances, with a sentence of imprisonment. The maximum fine available for an offence is usually contained within the specific offence provision. You can look at the maximum fines available for different offences on our offences pages.
Section 14 of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act 2005 gives the court power to direct offenders to pay a fine for certain offences.
In legislation, fines are expressed in terms of “penalty units“. Currently, a penalty unit for an ACT criminal offence is $160 and for a Commonwealth offence $210.
The ACT’s Legislation Act 2001 provides for the variation of the ACT’s penalty unit from time to time, as decided by the ACT Legislative Assembly.
The court is not required to inquire into an offender’s financial circumstances before making a fine order but must consider any facts established by the offender about the offender’s financial circumstances. Section 33(1)(n) of the Crimes (Sentencing) Act requires the court, in deciding how to sentence an offender, to consider the offender’s financial circumstances if relevant and known to the court.
In making a fine order, the court must state in the order the amount of the fine and how the fine is to be paid (for example, by stated instalments at stated times).
Section 25 of the Victims of Crime Act 1994 requires the amount of the Victims’ Services Levy payable by a person to be stated on a fine order and on any notice or copy of the fine order given to the person.
As soon as practicable after the court makes a fine order, the court must ensure that written notice of the order, together with a copy of the order, is given to the offender.
For an offender aged under 18, the notice and order must also be given to a parent or person with parental responsibility.
The maximum fine that a court may impose for an offence is the maximum amount fixed for the fine; or in any other case, $10,000 in the Supreme Court or $2000 in the Magistrates Court.
If a court makes a fine order, the court may, in addition to allowing time for payment of an amount under the order, direct that the offender liable to pay the amount give security, to the satisfaction of the person specified by the court (often a Registrar), with or without sureties, for payment of the amount.
The security must be given, and may be enforced, in the accordance with the Magistrates Court Act 1930.
Is a fine a conviction and will I have a criminal record?
If you are sentenced to a fine, then you have been been convicted of the offence, and it will appear on your criminal record.
The Crimes (Sentencing Act) allows for non-conviction orders to be made while still allowing the court to impose ancillary orders. These ancillary orders can include restitution, compensation, costs, forfeiture, destruction and disqualification or loss or suspension of a licence or privilege – but not a fine.
What happens if I can’t pay the fine?
In the ACT, the magistrate or judge that sets the fine is likely to ask you or your solicitor for “time to pay” and can grant up to 12 months.
However, if the timely payment of a fine becomes an issue for you, the court registry is likely to give you more time to pay the fine by placing you on a payment plan. It is important that you approach the court before the expiry of the time given by the magistrate or judge if you are seeking more time. It is our understanding that extra-time-to-pay applications are normally approved.
If you still do not pay your fine, an enforcement order can be made. Importantly, this can result in licence suspension and registration cancellation.
After that comes civil enforcement, including property seizure, garnishee orders and the registration of a charge on any land owned by the fine defaulter.
If they are not successful, a community-work order can be sought. An ACT fine can be discharged at the rate of $37.50 for each hour of work performed under the community-work order.
The Crimes (Sentence Administration) Act 2005 provides, “The Magistrates Court may … order the imprisonment of a fine defaulter if the Court is satisfied that all appropriate enforcement action has been taken to secure payment and there is no real likelihood of the outstanding fine being paid.”
The imprisonment period is at the rate of a day for each part of $300 of the outstanding fine, up to a maximum of six months.
For a person under 18, the imprisonment period is the lesser of the period worked out at the rate of 1 day for each $500, or part of $500, of the outstanding fine; and 7 days.
If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.
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WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
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