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  • Writer's pictureGeoff Harrison

Fines

Updated: Nov 3, 2023


Best Barrister, Best Lawyer, Best Solicitor, Best Criminal Barrister, Criminal Lawyer, Criminal Barrister, Fines, Penalty Notices, Infringment Notices, Enforcement Orders

Published by Geoff Harrison | 21 September 2023


Set out below are a number of summaries relating to the procedures for the payment of court fines, penalty notices and enforcement procedures. The maximum fine that can be imposed in the Local Court for a Table 1 offence is: 100 penalty units ($11,000) or whatever is smallest under the offence provision (267(3) Criminal Procedure Act 1986). The maximum fine for a Table 2 offence in the Local Court varies between 20 penalty units ($2,200) and 100 penalty units ($11,000) depending upon the offence (see s268 below).


Other sections to note under the Fines Act 1996 are ss6 & 23A in that, the court is to take into consideration a person's means and ability to pay a fine and secondly, despite having paid a penalty notice a person can still elect to take the matter to the court provided it is within 90 days of having received the penalty notice.


Other Sources:


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Extracted Legislation:


FINES ACT 1996 - SECT 5

Summary of procedure for payment of court fines


(1) The following is a summary of the procedure under this Part for the payment of fines imposed by any court--

(a) A fine imposed by a court is payable within 28 days after it is imposed.

(b) The person on whom the fine is imposed is to be notified of the fine, the arrangements for payment and the action that may be taken under this Act to enforce the fine.

(c) A court registrar may allow further time to pay the fine on the application of the person.

(d) If payment of the fine is not made by the due date, a court fine enforcement order may be made against the person. If the person does not pay the amount (including enforcement costs) within 28 days, enforcement action authorised by this Act may be taken (see Part 4).

(e) A court fine enforcement order may be withdrawn if an error has been made.


(2) This section does not affect the provisions of this Part that it summarises.


FINES ACT 1996 - SECT 6

Consideration of accused's means to pay


(cf Crimes Act 1900 sec 440AB and Justices Act 1902 sec 80A)


In the exercise by a court of a discretion to fix the amount of any fine, the court is required to consider--


(a) such information regarding the means of the accused as is reasonably and practicably available to the court for consideration, and

(b) such other matters as, in the opinion of the court, are relevant to the fixing of that amount.


FINES ACT 1996 - SECT 19

Summary of penalty notice procedure


(1) The following is a summary of the penalty notice procedure under this Part--

(a) A person is alleged to have committed a penalty notice offence for which a penalty notice may be issued under a statutory provision (see Division 2).

(a1) The officer who may issue a penalty notice determines whether to issue a penalty notice or whether an official caution would be more appropriate (see Division 1A).

(b) If it is determined that it is not appropriate to give an official caution, a penalty notice is issued under the relevant statutory provision. The notice requires payment of a specified monetary penalty, unless the person alleged to have committed the offence elects to have the matter dealt with by a court (see Division 2).

(b1) A reviewing agency may conduct a review of the decision to issue the penalty notice, including after a penalty notice enforcement order has been made. After conducting a review, the agency may withdraw the penalty notice or penalty notice enforcement order or confirm the decision. If the decision is confirmed, the agency may serve a penalty reminder notice or, if a penalty notice enforcement order has been made, take enforcement action (see Division 2A).

(c) If the penalty is not paid, a penalty reminder notice is served. The person who is alleged to have committed the offence may elect to have the matter dealt with by a court (see Division 3).

(d) If payment of the specified monetary penalty is not made and the person does not elect to have the matter dealt with by a court, a penalty notice enforcement order may be made against the person (see Division 4). If the person does not pay the amount (including enforcement costs) within 28 days, enforcement action authorised by this Act may be taken in the same way as action may be taken for the enforcement of a fine imposed on a person after a court hearing for the offence (see Part 4).

(e) A penalty notice enforcement order may, on application or the Commissioner's own initiative, be withdrawn by the Commissioner (see Division 5).

(f) A penalty notice enforcement order may, on application, be annulled by the Local Court. If the order is annulled, the alleged offence is to be heard and determined by the Local Court (see Division 5).


(2) This section does not affect the provisions of this Part that it summarises.


FINES ACT 1996 - SECT 23A

Person may elect to have matter dealt with by court


(1) A person alleged to have committed or to be guilty of the offence to which a penalty notice relates--

(a) has the right to elect to have the matter dealt with by a court instead of under the statutory provision providing for the issue of the penalty notice, and

(b) may make that election--

(i) in the manner specified in that statutory provision, or

(ii) if no manner is specified in that statutory provision--in the manner specified in the penalty notice, or

(iii) if no manner is specified in that statutory provision or in the penalty notice--in the manner specified by the regulations.


(2) A person may make such an election even if the whole or part of the amount payable under the penalty notice has been paid.


(2A) If the whole of the amount payable under the penalty notice has been paid, such an election may not be made later than 90 days after the penalty notice was issued.


(2B) Despite subsection (2A), a person may make such an election at any time while a review under Division 2A of the decision to issue the penalty notice is in progress.


(2BA) If a person elects to have a matter dealt with by a court while a review under Division 2A is in progress, court proceedings must not be taken unless, following the review, the reviewing agency confirms the decision to issue the penalty notice.


(2C) Despite subsection (2A), if a reviewing agency confirms the decision to issue the penalty notice, such an election may not be made later than 28 days after the outcome of the review has been notified under section 24E.


(2D) This section does not apply if a penalty reminder notice has been served in respect of the offence.

Note : Sections 35 and 36 provide for the right to elect to have a matter dealt with by a court, and the making of and timing for an election, if a penalty reminder notice is served under section 24F or 26.


(3) If a person elects under this section to have a matter dealt with by a court after any amount payable under the penalty notice has been paid--

(a) section 22A (1) ceases to apply in relation to the person, and

(b) any action taken to record demerit points against the person in the NSW demerit points register kept under the Road Transport Act 2013 because of that payment is to be reversed by Transport for NSW, and

(c) the amount that has been paid under the penalty notice is repayable to the person by whom it was paid.


FINES ACT 1996 - SECT 58

Summary of enforcement procedure


(1) The following is a summary of the enforcement procedure under this Part following the making of a fine enforcement order--

(a) Notice of the fine enforcement order is served on the fine defaulter and the fine defaulter is notified that if payment is not made enforcement action will be taken (see Division 2).

(b) If the fine is not paid within the period specified, Transport for NSW takes action against the fine defaulter's driver licence, vehicle registration, visitor privileges or marine safety licence (see Division 3).

(c) Civil enforcement action in the form of a property seizure order, a garnishee order or the registration of a charge on land owned by the fine defaulter is taken if enforcement action under Division 3 is unavailable or unsuccessful, or if the Commissioner is satisfied that civil enforcement action is preferable (see Division 4).

(d) If civil enforcement action is not successful, an order requiring community service is served on the fine defaulter (see Division 5).

(f) The procedures for fine enforcement (other than orders requiring community service work) apply to fines payable by corporations (see Division 7).

(g) A fine defaulter may seek further time to pay and the Commissioner may write off unpaid fines or make a work and development order in respect of the fine defaulter for the purposes of satisfying all or part of the fine. Applications for review may be made to the Hardship Review Board (see Division 8).


(2) This section does not affect the provisions of this Part that it summarises.


Meaning of "fine"

4 MEANING OF "FINE"


(1) For the purposes of this Act, a

"fine" is--

(a) any monetary penalty imposed by a court for an offence (including a fine to which Part 7 of the Service and Execution of Process Act 1992 of the Commonwealth applies, subject to that Part), or

(a1) any monetary penalty imposed by a court for contempt of court, or

(b) any amount payable under a penalty notice enforcement order, or

(c) any court fees or charges payable by a person under an order made by a court in proceedings for an offence, or

(d) any victims support levy, or

(d1) any court costs levy payable under section 211A of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 in proceedings for an offence, or

(e) any witnesses' expenses payable by a person under an order made by a court in proceedings for an offence that were brought by a law enforcement officer, or

(f) any costs (including expenses or disbursements) payable by a person under an order made by a court in proceedings for an offence that were brought by a law enforcement officer, or

(g) any other amount of a kind prescribed by the regulations.


(2) However, a

"fine" does not include any amount of a kind excluded by the regulations.

(2A) For the purposes of this Act--

(a) a victims support levy is taken to be a fine imposed by the court by which the person liable to pay the levy was convicted, and

(b) a court costs levy payable under section 211A of the Criminal Procedure Act 1986 is taken to be a fine imposed by the court by which the person liable to pay the court costs levy was convicted or found guilty.


(3) In this section,

"proceedings for an offence" includes--

(a) proceedings for an apprehended violence order, and

(b) proceedings on appeal in respect of proceedings for an offence.


CRIMES (SENTENCING PROCEDURE) ACT 1999 - SECT 15 Fines as an additional or alternative penalty to imprisonment for offences dealt with on indictment


CRIMES (SENTENCING PROCEDURE) ACT 1999 - SECT 15

Fines as an additional or alternative penalty to imprisonment for offences dealt with on indictment


(1) This section applies to all offences dealt with on indictment, other than offences for which the penalty that may be imposed (otherwise than under this section) includes a fine.


(2) A court may impose a fine not exceeding 1,000 penalty units on an offender whom it convicts on indictment of an offence to which this section applies.


(3) The fine may be imposed in addition to or instead of any other penalty that may be imposed for the offence.


CRIMES (SENTENCING PROCEDURE) ACT 1999 - SECT 17

Penalty units


Unless the contrary intention appears, a reference in any Act or statutory rule to a number of penalty units (whether fractional or whole) is taken to be a reference to an amount of money equal to the amount obtained by multiplying $110 by that number of penalty units.


CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT 1986 - SECT 267

Maximum penalties for Table 1 offences


(1) This section prescribes the maximum penalty that may be imposed for an indictable offence listed in Table 1 to Schedule 1 dealt with summarily under this Chapter in any case where the maximum penalty (when the offence is dealt with summarily) is not provided by law.


(2) The maximum term of imprisonment that the Local Court may impose for an offence is, subject to this section, 2 years or the maximum term of imprisonment provided by law for the offence, whichever is the shorter term.


(3) The maximum fine that the Local Court may impose for an offence is, subject to this section, 100 penalty units or the maximum fine provided by law for the offence, whichever is the smaller fine.


(4A) The maximum penalty that the Local Court may impose for an offence under section 25 of the Oaths Act 1900 is imprisonment for 2 years, or a fine of 50 penalty units, or both.


(4B) The maximum penalty that the Local Court may impose for the offence of--

(a) attempting to commit an offence, or

(b) being an accessory before or after the fact in relation to an offence that is a felony, or

(c) aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of an offence that is a misdemeanour, or

(d) conspiring to commit an offence, or

(e) inciting the commission of an offence,

is the same as the maximum penalty that the Local Court may impose for the offence concerned.


(5) The Local Court may, instead of imposing a term of imprisonment, impose a fine not exceeding 100 penalty units for an offence listed in Table 1 to Schedule 1 in any case where a fine is not otherwise provided by law for the offence.


(6) Nothing in this section affects an option provided by law to impose either a term of imprisonment, or a fine, or both.


(7) Nothing in this section affects Division 2 of Part 4 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.


(7A) Nothing in this section prevents the Local Court from imposing the maximum term of imprisonment that may be imposed under section 33AA (2) (a) of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985.


CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT 1986 - SECT 268 Maximum penalties for Table 2 offences


CRIMINAL PROCEDURE ACT 1986 - SECT 268

Maximum penalties for Table 2 offences


(1) This section prescribes the maximum penalty that may be imposed for an indictable offence listed in Table 2 to Schedule 1 dealt with summarily under this Chapter in any case where the maximum penalty (when the offence is dealt with summarily) is not provided by law.


(1A) The maximum term of imprisonment that the Local Court may impose for an offence is, subject to this section, 2 years or the maximum term of imprisonment provided by law for the offence, whichever is the shorter term.


(2) The maximum fine that the Local Court may impose for the following offences is--

(a) for an offence under section 35A (2), 49A, 56, 58, 59, 59A, 60 (1), 60A (1), 60B, 60C, 60E (1) and (4), 61, 61KC, 61KE, 61KF, 61L, 61N, 61O (1) or (1A), 66DD, 66DE, 66EC, 73A, 91P, 91Q or 91R (1) or (2) of the Crimes Act 1900 --50 penalty units,

(b) for an offence listed in Part 2 or 3 of Table 2 to Schedule 1 (other than an offence under section 154A of the Crimes Act 1900 )--

(i) 50 penalty units, or

(ii) if the value of any property, amount of money or reward concerned does not exceed $2,000--20 penalty units,

(c) for an offence under section 154A of the Crimes Act 1900 --50 penalty units,

(d) for an offence under section 93G, 93H or 93I of the Crimes Act 1900 --50 penalty units,

(e) for an offence under section 7, 7A, 36, 43, 44A, 50, 50AA, 50A (1), 50B, 51 (1) or (2), 51A, 51BA, 51D (1), 51E, 51F, 51H, 51I, 58 (2), 62, 63, 64, 66, 70, 71A, 72 (1) or 74 (1)-(5) of the Firearms Act 1996 --50 penalty units,

(f) for an offence under section 7, 20, 23 (1), 23A (1), 25A (1), 25B (1), 25D, 31 or 34 of the Weapons Prohibition Act 1998 --100 penalty units,

(g) for an offence under section 13 of the Crimes (Domestic and Personal Violence) Act 2007 or section 545AB or 562AB of the Crimes Act 1900 --50 penalty units,

(h) for an offence under section 100 (1) or (1B) of the Rural Fires Act 1997 --100 penalty units,

(i) for an offence under section 578C (2A) of the Crimes Act 1900 --in the case of an individual, 100 penalty units or, in the case of a corporation, 200 penalty units,

(j) for an offence under section 10 or 20 of the Liens on Crops and Wool and Stock Mortgages Act 1898 --50 penalty units,

(k) for an offence under Part 2 or 5 (other than section 40 (2)) of the Surveillance Devices Act 2007 --in the case of an individual, 100 penalty units or, in the case of a corporation, 200 penalty units,

(k1) for an offence under section 8 (2A) or 9 (3) of the Restricted Premises Act 1943 --50 penalty units,

(l) for an offence under section 17 or 18 of the Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000 --100 penalty units,

(m) for an offence under section 65 of the Electricity Supply Act 1995 --100 penalty units,

(n) for an offence under section 66 of the Gas Supply Act 1996 --100 penalty units.


(2AA) A fine may be imposed as referred to in subsection (2) for an offence in addition to or instead of any term of imprisonment that may be imposed by law for the offence.


(2A) The maximum penalty that the Local Court may impose for the offence of--

(a) attempting to commit an offence, or

(b) being an accessory before or after the fact in relation to an offence that is a felony, or

(c) aiding, abetting, counselling or procuring the commission of an offence that is a misdemeanour, or

(d) conspiring to commit an offence, or

(e) inciting the commission of an offence,

is the same as the maximum penalty that the Local Court may impose for the offence concerned.


(3) Nothing in this section affects Division 2 of Part 4 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 .











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