Challenge your fine in court
Please take the time to assess your options carefully. If you are unsure, contact your local Community Legal Centre.
You can challenge your fine in the Magistrates’ Court.
The Court might cancel the fine, take away extra costs, or order you to pay a smaller fine. However, the Court can also decide to give you a larger fine, make you pay extra costs, cancel or suspend your driver licence, or record a conviction against your name.
- If you do not think you should have got the fine
- If it was not you who broke the law, it was someone else
- If you don’t think you should have to pay the full amount
- If your application for review was rejected and you do not think it was properly considered
You cannot challenge your fine in court if:
- Your fine has been registered with Fines Victoria and a Notice of Final Demand sent
Findings of guilt
Most of the time you will need to plead guilty to breaking the law. If you plead guilty, or are found guilty by the Court, it might appear on your criminal record.
The Court can choose to give you a bigger penalty than you started with. Penalties can include suspending or cancelling your driver licence.
The Magistrates' Court is very busy. It might be many months before your court date.
Going to court
You can challenge your fine in Court by writing to the agency that gave you the fine, and telling them you want to go to Court. The agency’s contact details are on the fine. We have a handy template below that you can use to write your letter.
When you go to court, you will get to tell your side of the story to the Magistrate. They will then make a decision about what you must do.
To help prepare for Court you should think about:
- what happened when you got the fine
- and what have you done to make up for it, or to stop it happening again
- and your income
- and your personal circumstances
- and for driving fines, the impact of losing your licence
How it works
Make a written application
- Write to the agency that gave you the fine, asking to have your fine heard in the Magistrates’ Court
- Make sure you include your current residential and postal address for the agency to send you your court date
Wait for your court date
- You will receive your court date in the mail
- Don’t be surprised if your matter is not heard in court for many months
Go to Court
- Put your Court date in your diary
- If you miss your court date the Magistrate will usually give you a fine with extra costs