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Criminal Infringement Notices

What is a Criminal Infringement Notice? A Criminal Infringement Notice is an on the spot fine that is issued by police. Criminal Infringement Notices essentially allow police to deal...

Zoe Whetham

What is a Criminal Infringement Notice?

A Criminal Infringement Notice is an on the spot fine that is issued by police. Criminal Infringement Notices essentially allow police to deal with certain minor offences by way of issuing a fine, instead of issuing a Court Attendance Notice which would require a person to attend Court.

Issuing a Criminal Infringement Notice is entirely at the discretion of police.

What type of offences can a police officer issue a Criminal Infringement Notice?

The following offences can be dealt with by way of a Criminal Infringement Notice:

  1. Shoplifting (less than $300.00)
  2. Offensive Language
  3. Offensive Behaviour
  4. Unlawful entry of a vehicle/boat
  5. Obstructing Traffic
  6. Goods in Custody
  7. Continuation of intoxicated and disorderly behaviour following move on direction

Recently, laws were introduced where police now have the discretion to issue a Criminal Infringement Notice for the following offences:

  1. Drug Possession (if the drug in your possession does not exceed the small quantity)
  2. Low Range PCA Offences
  3. Drive with an illicit drug present in your blood or oral fluid

If you have received a Criminal Infringement Notice for any of the above offences it is important to seek legal advice before you pay the fine, as there may be defences available to you. For Low-Range PCA offences and Drive with Illicit Drug offences, there are automatic licence disqualifications that attach when you are issued with a Criminal Infringement Notice for those offences.

If I pay the fine, will I have a criminal record?

Paying the fine means that the matter is finalised and the offence that resulted in you being issued with a Criminal Infringement Notice will not be recorded as a criminal conviction. The offence will not appear on your criminal record.

However, as there are a number of police, background, and working with children checks (depending on your area of employment) that can be conducted, if you have been issued with a Criminal Infringement Notice, it is important to seek legal advice before you pay the fine.  

Can I seek a review of the Criminal Infringement Notice?

Yes, you can seek a review of a Criminal Infringement Notice. You can either request a review through the State Debt Recovery Office or you can choose to have your Criminal Infringement Notice decided in Court.

Before deciding to have your Criminal Infringement Notice decided in Court it is important to seek legal advice, as the Court does have the power to convict you of the offence, which would result in you receiving a criminal record.

What do I do if I have received a Criminal Infringement Notice?

If you have received a Criminal Infringement Notice it is important to seek legal advice before you decide to pay the fine. As discussed above, there may be defences available to you or, should you decide to have the penalty determined in Court, you may run the risk of receiving a criminal conviction. To seek advice, please contact one of our specialist criminal lawyers.