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Review Of Fines (Vic)

If a person receives an Infringement Notice or Penalty Reminder Notice, and they have a valid reason it should be withdrawn, they can seek a review through Fines Victoria. One review per notice is permitted.

When can a review be requested?

A review can be sought if:

  • the decision was contrary to law;
  • there were exceptional circumstances;
  • there was a mistake of identity;
  • the recipient was unaware of the notice;
  • there were special circumstances.

Contrary to law

This ground asserts the agency’s decision to issue and enforce an Infringement Notice was inconsistent with law e.g. the fine is invalid, or the issuing officer acted unfairly or outside of their authority. The director may consider factors such as whether the issuing agency complied with its legal obligations, or whether signs were visible.

Exceptional circumstances

This ground assumes the person had control of their conduct but the circumstances that led to the offence were unavoidable, unexpected or out of the ordinary, such as a medical emergency or a car breaking down. Evidence may be required from a medical practitioner or mechanic.

Mistake of identity

This ground can be used if the fine was issued to a person in error, such as when the person is not the person named by the fine. Identification evidence such as a birth certificate or passport may be required. If another person was driving the vehicle at the time an offence was committed, this is not a mistake of identity; the actual driver can be nominated and the fine transferred. This needs to be done before the enforcement review stage.

Recipient unaware

An application for review on this ground must be made within 14 days of the person becoming aware of the Infringement Notice. Evidence must be supplied to show why the person was not aware of the fine, such as proof of being overseas or mail being stolen. Any change of address must be recorded with Vic Roads within 14 days of the change. If a fine was sent to an old address and Vic Roads had not been notified of the new address within 14 days, the fine will have been deemed served.

Special circumstances

Special circumstances are those which mean that at the time the notice was issued, the person did not understand the behaviour was against the law or they could not control their behaviour. Special circumstances include:

  • mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness;
  • serious drug or alcohol addiction;
  • homelessness;
  • family violence.

Supporting evidence is required to confirm the condition or circumstances and how they caused the person to commit the offence. This can be supplied by professionals such as a general practitioner, psychiatrist, accredited drug counsellor, or social worker.

Review not available

A review is not available for offences of:

  • excessive speeding (25km/h or more over the limit);
  • drink driving;
  • drug driving.

These offences can be challenged in a court, on the grounds the person is not responsible for the offence or that an Infringement Notice should not have been issued. However, if the court finds the person guilty, the penalty will be the same or greater that that imposed in the original Infringement Notice.

Possible outcomes

Any request will be reviewed within 90 days of receipt of the application, made online or in writing. More information may be requested.

The agency can decide to:

  • confirm the decision;
  • withdraw the fine and take no action;
  • withdraw the fine and issue an official warning;
  • refer the matter to the Magistrates Court;
  • waive or adjust fees;
  • waive or vary conditions imposed by the fine;
  • approve a payment plan.

Enforcement review

Enforcement review is available when a person’s Infringement Notice has been registered with the Director of Fines Victoria and the person has subsequently received a notice of final demand.

An application for enforcement review must be in writing and state the ground(s) on which the fine should be reviewed. One application for review is available on the grounds of:

  • the fine being contrary to law;
  • the fine involving a mistake of identity;
  • exceptional circumstances;
  • the person being unaware of the fine.

Two applications can be made on the grounds of special circumstances.

If the fine is confirmed, the person will be notified within 21 days, and the person has 21 days from notification of the decision to pay the fine, or take other action, such as apply for a payment plan or apply for a family violence exemption.

If enforcement is cancelled, the person will be notified within 21 days, the fine collection fee will be removed and the fine will be referred back to the issuing agency. The agency has 90 days to advise whether it will:

  • take no further action;
  • issue an official warning; or
  • begin court proceedings.

For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Sally Crosswell

This article was written by Sally Crosswell

Sally Crosswell has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons), a Bachelor of Communication and a Master of International and Community Development. She also completed a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the College of Law. A former journalist, Sally has a keen interest in human rights law.

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