In 2006, the Victorian Government introduced a number of reforms to the infringements system to ensure a fairer and firmer fines system for everyone.
The Infringements Act 2006 (the Act) standardised the issuing and governance of infringement offences in more than 60 pieces of legislation. Together with the accompanying Attorney-General's Guidelines to the Infringements Act 2006, the Act focuses on providing a fairer system that also deals with recovering outstanding fines.
To access copies of the Act, visit the Victorian Legislation and Parliamentary Documents website and search under the heading 'Victorian Law Today'.
Please click on the links below if you would like further information:
Under the Act, all Victorians have the right to seek an internal agency review to have the infringement notice withdrawn.Victorians also have the right to have an infringement notice withdrawn and heard in the Magistrates' Court.
The Act provides extra time for eligible persons and those in financial difficulty to pay their fines through formalised instalment payment options at the infringement issue stage. This avoids the matter reaching court and attracting additional fees and charges.
The Act provides extra safeguards to protect those in the community who are disadvantaged. This includes people with special circumstances, such as persons with mental health issues or intellectual disabilities, serious drug addictions, or those who are homeless. Where appropriate, these cases are diverted from the infringements system.
An unpaid fine might not just cost you money. If it remains unpaid, an infringement warrant can be issued against you.
Balanced against the provisions which ensure fairness in the system, the Infringements Act 2006 also introduced a number of new sanctions for the Sheriff to deal with those who do not settle their obligations.
These sanctions include:
Other measures to enforce unpaid fines include seizing and selling your personal property to pay the outstanding penalty and costs or, as a last resort, imprisonment.