Fines Victoria

Primary content

If you have serious personal issues, conditions or difficulties, it may be possible to apply for a review of your fines under Special Circumstances.

These circumstances are very specific. You can apply only if you committed the offence and can show that:

  • at the time of the offence you:
    • had a mental or intellectual disability, disorder, disease or illness
    • had a serious addiction to drugs, alcohol or a volatile substance
    • were homeless
    • were affected by family violence, OR
  • you cannot deal with your fines because of severe disabling long-term circumstances.
Special circumstances linked to your offending behaviour

You must show a link between your special circumstances and your offending behaviour.

If you have a mental illness, intellectual disability, or a serious substance addiction, you need to provide evidence of how this reduced your capacity to:

  • understand your behaviour was against the law, or
  • control your behaviour (even if you knew it was against the law).

If you are homeless or a victim of family violence, you need to provide evidence of how this reduced your capacity to control your behaviour (even if you knew it was against the law).

If your fines resulted from family violence, you may be able to apply under the Family Violence Scheme.

Long-term circumstances linked to your ability to deal with your fine

If you are not able to deal with your fine due to severe disabling long-term circumstances, you need to provide evidence that your circumstances:

  • are long term and particularly severe, disabling or incapacitating, and
  • relate mostly to issues other than financial hardship, and
  • make it impracticable or unfeasible for you to deal with your fine by:
    • paying in full
    • paying in instalments
    • completing activities or treatment under a work and development permit
    • applying for the family violence scheme.

Examples include:

  • long-term involuntary mental health care
  • severe physical or intellectual disability.
Who can prepare your supporting evidence?

You must provide evidence from a practitioner or agency who knows about your circumstances. Depending on your particular circumstances, this may be your:

  • doctor or medical specialist
  • psychiatrist or psychologist
  • social worker or case worker
  • accredited drug treatment agency or drug counsellor
  • financial counsellor
  • recognised health, support or welfare agency (for example, the Salvation Army).

Evidence may include, reports, letters, statements, submissions, statutory declarations, police reports and family violence safety notices.

What is required in your report?

Your practitioner or agency report should include:

  • an explanation of your circumstance, including its nature, severity, duration, and impact on your life
  • the link between your circumstance and your offending behaviour, or your long-term inability to deal with the fine
  • your practitioner's qualifications
  • your practitioner's relationship with you and how long they have known you.

We may ask you for more information to help determine your application.

Your evidence should be signed and dated within 12 months of the date of your application. You can provide evidence that is older than 12 months if it relates to a permanent condition, such as an intellectual disability.

Need help applying?

Your health practitioner or case worker can request a review on your behalf. You may also be able to access legal assistance.

If you need more time to get evidence, you can ask for it when you submit your application. We will put your fines on hold so you can get a report from a relevant practitioner.

You can find more information on the Enforcement Review process, how to apply and what evidence is required in the Guide to Enforcement Review (PDF).

For more information on Special Circumstances reviews, you can also call us on (03) 9200 8222.


 

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