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Contesting a fine in Court

What are your options if you have been fined? If you believe that you have been wrongly fined, there are a number of steps you can take to dispute...

Justin Wong

What are your options if you have been fined?

If you believe that you have been wrongly fined, there are a number of steps you can take to dispute the fine. You may seek a review of your fine from Revenue NSW and/or go to court. To take either of these steps, you must lodge your review or nominate to go to court before the due date for your fine.

If you have already paid your fine, you have 90 days from the date the penalty notice was issued to elect to go to court. If you have not paid your fine, you have until the due date on the penalty reminder notice (the second penalty notice). If you have sought a review through Revenue NSW, you have until 28 days after the review has concluded.

Seeking a Review

A review is conducted internally by Revenue NSW. This will give you an opportunity to write to Revenue NSW and explain the circumstances.

A fine may be quashed if:

  • The fine should not have been issued because there was no wrongdoing; or
  • There were circumstances surrounding the incident which would make it unfair for you to be fined.

This can often be a good starting point, however, Revenue NSW may consider your account as against their issuing office. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the review, you may still elect to go to court.

Going to Court

Electing to go to court gives you an opportunity to argue your case before an independent magistrate. On the day, a prosecutor will appear and present evidence to justify the fine. Here, it is always best to seek legal advice before going before the court as there is a chance of receiving a conviction. One of our lawyers can assess the strength of your case and advise you on the relevant areas of law. Our lawyers can also help you to collate the relevant documents and put forward your best case to the magistrate.

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