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Fines

A fine is a monetary penalty imposed by a judicial officer. They can be made with or without conviction. 

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Most fines are referred to Fines Victoria. See the Fines Victoria website for information about payment and management of your fine.

If you receive a statement of fines and penalties or payment notice (see attached example) from the Magistrates’ Court, you will need to pay the court directly. See the information below for more detail.

Payment of fines

See the Fines Victoria website if you have received a Court Fine Collection Statement or Notice of Final Demand.

Payment to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria can be made:

  • in person at any Magistrates’ Court location
  • by BPAY 
  • by sending a cheque or money order to the court where the order was made. If you choose this method, please write your name and case number and contact details on the back of the cheque.

If you are paying multiple fines by instalments to the Magistrates’ Court, you will need to outline the fines and amounts being paid. You can apply to the court to have fines grouped together. This is known as a group stay and allows you to make one regular payment.

Converting fines to community work

You can make an application to a to convert your fine to unpaid community work.

What you need to know

  • You need to attend in person at your local Magistrates’ Court to make this application.
  • There is no fee associated with lodging this application with the Court.
  • Not all monetary orders can be converted to community work. For example, compensation to victims cannot be converted.
  • The Registrar will usually only grant an application if you are unemployed or if there is some exceptional reason why the fine cannot be paid off by instalments. 
  • Before you make your application to the Registrar, you must obtain up to date information from Fines Victoria as to how much is outstanding on your fine. For example, bring in receipts of payments. If you have not paid anything to Fines Victoria, make this known to the registrar.
  • You are required to provide the Court with an in relation to your financial situation. You may be asked to provide financial records which may include copies of your bank statements.
  • You will be required to do a minimum 8 hrs of work and the conversion is one hour for approximately every $20 owing.
  • If granted, you will need to attend your local Community Corrections Centre within 48 hours of the order being made, or you will find yourself in contravention of the order. Corrections can charge you with a contravention offence for non-attendance or non-compliance with the order.

What you need to do

Attend your local Magistrates’ Court with the above documentation and make your application to a Registrar. 

If your application is granted, you will need to sign the order. You then must to report to your nearest Community Corrections Centre (nominated on your order) within 48 hours.

Please email fines@courts.vic.gov.au if you have a question about your fine.  

Resources

This is not a full list of legislation associated with this topic. See the Victorian Government's legislation website for more information.

Q. What if I can’t pay the fine?

A.

If you are paying a fine to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, you can apply to the court for additional time to pay or to pay by instalments.

If your Magistrates’ Court fine is being paid to the Magistrates’ Court or to Fines Victoria you can make an application for the fine to be converted to community work.

Q. What happens if the fine is not paid in time?

A.

A warrant for your arrest may be issued if the fine is not paid to the Magistrates’ Court on time.

The warrant authorises the Sheriff to recover the amount of the warrant or arrest and bring you before the court.

Q. What happens when a person is arrested for unpaid fines and brought to court?

A.

A judicial officer may decide to:

  • convert the fine to community work for sums below $10,000
  • order you to be imprisoned for a fixed term - one day of imprisonment equates to approximately $150 of the fine 
  • vary the order so the fine can be paid by instalments
  • adjourn the hearing for up to six months on any terms deemed appropriate 
  • order the unpaid portion of the fine to be collected under a warrant to seize property. 

If you move interstate, the fine may can be registered and enforced in the state where you live.
 

Related information

Last updated on 07 Dec 2018
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