WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS IF YOU RECEIVE A COVID-19 FINE
In Victoria, the fine for not wearing a face covering, without lawful excuse, while mandated is $200.00. The fine for breaching stay at home orders is $1,652.00 on the spot which can be extended through the Magistrates’ Court for repeat offenders to a maximum of $10,000.00. The fine for breaching isolation orders for a second or subsequent time, after testing positive for Coronaviris is $4,957.00 on the spot, which can be extended through the Magistrates’ Court for repeat offenders to a maximum of $20,000.00.
If you receive a fine and if you are experiencing financial hardship and having difficulty paying your fine, there are options to help you manage your fine debt. You can contact Fines Victoria on Ph. (03) 9200 8111 weekdays between 8.00a.m. and 6.00p.m. to discuss your individual circumstances and options available to you.
If you believe you have been unfairly issued with a fine or that there is a valid reason why your fine should be withdrawn, you can request a review through Fines Victoria. The website sets out the process to follow depending on whether you receive an Infringement Notice or Penalty Reminder Notice or a Notice of Final Demand.
After application for a review, the agency that issued the fine will review your request within 90 days of receiving your application (it may take longer if you’re asked to provide additional information).
Once a decision has been made you’ll receive notice of the outcome in the mail.
There is a wide range of possible outcomes from the fine being withdrawn to an advice of how much you need to pay and when you need to pay it by. If your application is unsuccessful, you can apply to have your matter heard in the Magistrates’ Court allowing you to present your evidence in front of a Magistrate who can make a decision.
For fines issued by Victoria Police, information about official warnings is available on the Victoria Police website. Each application for an official warning is reviewed on a case by case basis.
Whilst Victoria is within a State of Emergency and/or State of Disaster the Police have additional legislation providing extraordinary powers making this State more akin to a communist State than a Democratic one. Whilst we like to believe everyone is doing their best in whatever role they have, desperate people do desperate things, with or without intent, and whether it be warnings, fines or worse, should you find yourself in difficulty in this area please discuss with Michael Tourkakes, Principal - Dispute Resolution De Marco Lawyers your attitude and proposed approach before launching into a process that may prove very difficult and expensive.
This article is intended only to provide a summary of the subject matter covered. It does not purport to be comprehensive or to render legal advice. No reader should act on the basis of any matter contained in this article without first obtaining specific professional advice.
DISCLAIMER: We accept no responsibility for any action taken after reading this article. It is intended as a guide only and is not a substitute for the expert legal advice you can get from De Marco Lawyers and other relevant experts.